HURIWA URGES STATES TO STOP FUNDING SUPPORT FOR POLICE AND TO CREATE A QUASI POLICING BODY FOR ANTI-OPEN GRAZING LAW:
Angered by the report that as more southern states move to checkmate rising attacks of farmers by armed Fulani herdsmen with the enactment of anti-open grazing law, there is reportedly what is graphically described as palpable conspiratorial silence from the police hierarchy over its willingness to prosecute violators of the law, a call has gone to the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba to order the state commands of the Nigerian Police Force to enforce the anti-open grazing laws in the states in which the states Houses of Assembly had passed the law or he quits as the lawfully recognised Inspector General of Police of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so he can head the FULANI POLICE FORCE.
Making the demand is the nation’s prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) which expressed the importance of the holder of the office of the Inspector General of Police to comply totally with the constitutional mandates that his office confers on him or he will be inducted into the National Hall of Shame and infamy as someone who used his office to serve the selfish, clandestine and parochial interest of the armed Terrorists and Fulani herdsmen who have vowed to disobey the lawfully passed legislation in some States in Nigeria which outlaws open grazing of Livestock of all genre. HURIWA condemned the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami for constituting himself into a cog in the wheel of the progressive enforcement of the lawfully passed legislation against open grazing of cattle just as the Rights group said the ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION by demonstrated this deep level of loyalty to Fulani herdsmen should resign forthwith.
Besides, the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the States that enacted the legislation against open grazing of Livestock to set up a State wide armed vigilantes to carry out the enforcement of the provisions of the law because the law is constitutionally guaranteed under section 4(7) which authorises States Houses of Assembly to make laws for the good governance and security of the good people of their States. HURIWA said the states can actually take steps to enforce laws made in their States if Kano State can set up ISLAMIC POLICE which contravenes sections 10 and 214 of the Nigerian constitution so why are the states waiting for the unwilling IGP who is a willing tool of the oppressors in Abuja to ask their men to respect the law of Nigeria.
Specifically, Section 4 subsection 7 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) provides that: “Section 4(7) The House of Assembly of a State shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the State or any part thereof with respect to the following matters, that is to say:-
(a) any matter not included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.
(b) any matter included in the Concurrent Legislative List set out in the first column of Part II of the Second Schedule to this Constitution to the extent prescribed in the second column opposite thereto; and
(c) any other matter with respect to which it is empowered to make laws in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
HURIWA submits that similarly, Section 214. (1) establishes the Police as the policing institution of all parts of Nigeria and not for Fulani herdsmen. Section 214(1) states thus: “There shall be a police force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof”.
HURIWA stated thus: “The findings made recently by a respected newspaper in Nigeria that the policemen are careful over these new state laws which implies that the police operatives paid with tax payer’s money belonging to the good citizens of Nigerians have been brainwashed by some Fulani Ethnic warlords embedded within the Abuja’s Seat of Power not to enforce the laws passed by the different States against public grazing of Livestock.”
HURIWA stated further: “This is a very dangerous threat to Nigeria’s national security and it is even worst because the persons being misused to undermine the security of some states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria are policemen who according to the clear provisions of the constitution are bound to implement lawfully passed laws in all states of the federation and the Ethnic interest of the holder of the office of President should not matter in the enforcement of the laws of Nigeria”.
“It is disgraceful that Nigeria Police Force is now an institution led by Ethnic warlords who are affiliates of Fulani herders because investigation showed that herders still graze their animals openly in many states that have enacted the anti-open grazing law without being intercepted by law enforcement agents”, HURIWA affirms.
“Reports say in Abia State where Governor Okezie Ikpeazu signed the anti-open grazing law on June 29, 2018, open grazing of cattle, sheep and goats were still practiced following its poor implementation. The Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, however, stated that the enforcement of the law is vested in the hands of security agencies, particularly the police.”
HURIWA said the decision made specifically on May 11, 2021, by the governors of the 17 southern states, after a meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, was constitutionally guaranteed and protected given that the Governors resolved to ban open grazing and the movement of cattle by foot in order to curb clashes between farmers and herders in the region.
“The governors had observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits in the southern part of the country has created a severe security challenge, such that citizens were no longer able to live their normal lives, including pursuing various productive activities, leading to threats to the food supply, general security and sometimes death. Consequently, they resolved that open grazing of cattle should be banned across southern Nigeria via a law enacted by the state Houses of Assembly not later than September 1, this year,” HURIWA added.
The Rights group citing media reports recalled that earlier before the resolution was made by the Governors of Southern States of Nigeria, five southern states comprising Ekiti, Ebonyi, Abia, Oyo and Bayelsa had enacted anti-open grazing laws. However, the resolution prompted six more states in the region to follow suit. These include Rivers, Ondo, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, Osun and Lagos states. This brings the total number of states in the South that has so far prohibited open grazing in their jurisdictions via legislation to 11.Additionally, Delta and Ogun states Houses of Assembly have passed the bill but their governors were yet to give their assent, while in Anambra State, the bill has scaled through the first reading.
HURIWA said the disobedience by the Inspector General of Police Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba to the laws passed by different states against open grazing of cattle amounts to sabotage and endangers the National Security even as the Rights group asked the concerned States to cut off all forms of partnership funding supports with and to the current distorted structure of the police since it is now clear that the Nigerian Police Force has become the Fulani Police force and thereafter the States should set up armed vigilantes to carry out the enforcement of the anti-open grazing law just as the AMOTEKUN SECURITY NETWORK is doing lawfully in some States of the South West States of Nigeria.
“It is basic and constitutionally binding that the Nigerian Police Force is empowered by the Constitution to carry out the fundamental functions as observed by experts as follows: the Prevention And Detection Of Crimes
This role of prevention and detection is one of the statutory functions of the Nigerian Police Force. The Nigerian police Force in as part of the larger bodies of the law enforcement agencies in the country, do place its priority in the prevention and detection of crime,secondly, the Protection Of Lives And Properties
Another functions of the Nigerian Police Force is to protect lives and properties. As the law enforcement agency, the Nigerian Police is saddles with the responsibility of ensuring that the lives and properties of Nigerian citizens are protected within their individual domain; thirdly, the duty of Preservation Of Law And Order
Nigerian Police Force is empowered through the instructions from the directive of the appointing authority to ensure that, there is public order and safety in Nigeria. The Nigerian Police Force must of necessity be ready to carry out the Performance Of Such Military Responsibility Required Of Police Force
Another function of the Nigerian Police is that, it undertakes some of the military responsibilities which may be required of the Police Force by law as part of its functions”.
HURIWA is therefore appealing to the Southern Nigeria states to defend the Constitution by compelling the Nigerian Police Force to carry out their duties and pressures can be mounted if the states cuts off all funding components they give to the police, set up state vigilantes and institute a legal challenge to force the Council of State to sack the IGP just as HURIWA asked the States to stop funding the Police Trust Fund for now.