*Gov Ortom seeks review of ECOWAS protocol
*IGP, Rep in verbal war over Kwara attack
From Nick Yashi (Jalingo), Austine Tule (Makurdi), Samuel Ogidan and Gift Chapi Odekina (Abuja)
A few days after President Muhammadu Buhari visited Taraba State to avert violence, especially killings by herdsmen in the state, marauding herders have invaded Takum, the home town of Governor Darius Ishaku and former Defence Minister, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma.
The attacks, which were launched on Tuesday by the Fulani herdsmen, spread to other communities in Takum Wednesday.
Buhari, who visited Taraba State on Monday over the protracted Fulani herdsmen/farmers clashes in the state, especially in the Mambilla Plateau where scores of people were killed and property worth millions of naira destroyed, had assured that security agencies would restore law and order in the state.
At the time of filing this report, two bodies were found in Takum as the attacks spread to the adjoining communities in Takum and Ussa councils.
A security personnel in Takum who sought anonymity, told The AUTHORITY that the attacks were on-going and that local vigilantes at checkpoints to defend their communities had fled for fear of being killed by the herdsmen, especially as they had disarmed following the ultimatum by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotun Idris.
Takum is the home town of Governor Ishaku and T. Y. Danjuma, a former Chief of Army Staff. A battalion of the Nigerian Army is domiciled in the town being a security flashpoint in recent times.
Yesterday, the Police confirmed the attack in Takum, but declared they were waiting for details from the affected areas.
The Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal, said told The AUTHORITY that there were reports of attacks in a particular community, adding that “I am waiting for more information from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO)”.
*Herdsmen Killing: Gov Ortom seeks review of ECOWAS protocol
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has called for the review of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol since herdsmen now use it to undermine Nigeria’s security.
He made the appeal on Wednesday at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, during a visit by the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Muhammed Babandede.
Ortom said: “If the ECOWAS protocol has become a clog in the wheel of progress of Nigeria, it is high time we reviewed it”.
The governor stated that even the current protocol has provisions on procedures for trans-human movement within ECOWAS-member countries which should strictly be followed.
He suggested that the provisions for quarantine services for livestock and prohibition of movement with arms, as well as regulations that apply to human beings, should be enforced for improved security in the country.
According to him, security reports revealed that the heightened insecurity in the country was linked to foreign herdsmen who enter Nigeria without valid documents and also violate other regulations.
While tasking the NIS to curtail the excesses of emigrants into the country, Governor Ortom pledged to support to the Service for optimal performance and requested the recruitment of more Benue indigenes into the NIS.
Babandede expressed sympathy with the government and people of Benue State over the killings by suspected herdsmen and pledged the support of the NIS in addressing insecurity in the state.
He said he was in the state to patrol the border area at Abande in Kwande Local Government Area with a view to checking the influx of illegal foreigners into the country.
*IGP, Rep in a verbal war over Kwara attack
At the House of Representatives session on Wednesday, the IGP, Idris and a lawmaker were engaged in a verbal war over the identity of suspected insurgents who invaded Kaiama community in Kwara State last January.
While the IGP, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Ebong Eyibio, said that the invaders were bandits who have been arrested, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, who represents Baruten/Kaiama Federal Constituency, said they were terrorists.
The Police boss and the lawmaker spoke at an investigative hearing by the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence on the invasion of Kaiama community last January by suspected insurgents.
Describing the invaders as bandits, who were looking for what to eat, the IGP explained that “13 of them have been arrested, with three of them convicteda�?.
But Hon. Mohammed insisted that “what we have is beyond banditry. They have an approach. They come, attack, kill and go. The issue is real insurgency. We don’t want a repeat of the Sambisa in Kiama. If anything happens to Kaima, we are in for it. I want the police to see it as an emergency and quell it very urgentlya�?.
The committeea��s Chairman, Hon Aminu Sani Jaji, called for proper coordination and synergy between the security agencies, communities and the government in the fight against insurgency in the country.
*Gov Ortom seeks review of ECOWAS protocol