by crossriverwatch admin
Mr. Rekpene Bassey, the Cross River State Security adviser on Tuesday had an interaction with Hausa Fulani and Muslim leaders in Calabar with respect to maintaining the secure and peaceful atmosphere for which the state is known for, top on the agenda.
Mr Bassey engaged the leaders on several issues including the Fulani herdsmen, street kids, street begging, stereotyping of every Muslim as Boko Haram, and sensitization of members on the need to maintain the peace in the state.
He told the leaders that the state was concerned about the frequent movement of herdsmen from the middle belt region into the state following the crisis between herdsmen and the natives of those areas and requested for regular monitoring and sensitization of the herdsmen to avoid altercation between them and the locals where they graze their cattle.
“Our people are mostly agrarian and when these herdsmen allow their cattle to graze on their crops or come with diseases which will affect the crops and the people will not like it so try and let them know what to do because this is often the cause of friction with the locals”.
He said efforts have been made to address the perennial crisis between the herdsmen and the people of Ntan Obu in Odukpani local government area which has brought about the peace in the area and asserted that as the most peaceful state in the country, efforts are continuously being made to ensure communal harmony and peaceful co-existence among all the ethnic groups.
Mr. Rekpene Bassey in the same light called on the Muslim leaders to constantly screen new people who come into their community in order to forestall admitting those who may pose security threats to the state. “Make sure that those who are coming into your community you know where they are coming from and what their mission in the state is so that you will not accommodate the wrong persons in your midst”.
On street kids, whom he said incidentally are not of the Hausa Fulani extraction, the State security Adviser solicited the support of the leaders towards eradicating the menace. “These kids come from surrounding states and are learning criminality and constituting themselves into a threat and no responsible government will fold its arm and watch such a thing happen so efforts are being made to take these kids off the streets”.
He said the kids will be reunited with their parents and reintegrated into the society so that they can be useful to themselves and the society. “The street kid phenomenon is an unfortunate one where kids find themselves on the streets, grow on the streets, marry on the streets and sometimes they become instruments in the hands of hardened criminals and eventually constitute serious danger in the society and we as a state will not allow that happen here”.
He also said the beggars who are an eyesore on the streets of Calabar will also be taken off the streets and thanked the leaders for their cooperation in compiling a list of the beggars who will be taken off the streets.
“One of the things we will be doing urgently in order to maintain our tourism status is that we will soon take out beggars from the street and this is important to us that is why we in conjunction with your support have raised the list of beggars which shows that a number of them are from as far as Niger Republic”.
Responding, Sarki Salisu Abba Lawan, the Leader of Muslims in Calabar said the community has since opened a register where the details of any new person coming into their community are registered. “The days have gone when anyone will take just anybody into his house for obvious reasons and we have sensitized everybody to watch out for anybody even among the old members who could cause trouble for us”.
Alhaji Abba Lawan said the Muslims in Calabar do not tolerate terrorism and are doing everything to ensure the state maintains its status as the most peaceful state in the country.
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