By Newscritic reporter
Former chief of army staff, COAS, Major General Azubuike Ihejirika (retd), has cautioned Nigerians to stop ethnic profiling of criminals, saying that there’s no such thing as killer herdsmen.
Major Gen Ihejirika stated this on a Flo fm programme The Platform monitored in Umuahia this morning. The programme featured Ihejirika and other former security chiefs from Isikwuato Local Government Area, LGA, Abia State to speak and profer workable solutions to the rising incidence of kidnappings and killings by bandits along Akara-Isikwuato axis.
According to Ihejirika, there’s nothing like killer herdsmen as being alluded to by many, adding that what obtains is that bandits are on the prowl.
He explained that bandits embark on cattle rustling, making herdsmen to become more organised, such that the bandits find it difficult to sale the cows, leading them to shift to kidnapping. To him the only thing is that they use herdsmen routes to escape after collecting ransom.
He stressed that our problem is that we engage in ethnic profiling of criminals which make the fight against criminality difficult and political.
“When you profile, you make the job difficult. A criminal is a criminal, no matter the tribe, and no set of bandits will operate successfully without collaboration of the locals. When kidnappers held sway in Aba, nobody called them Igbo or…”
Major Gen Ihejirika advised farmers to farm in a cooperative manner, to make the farm visible, so that at any time there will be the presence of farmers.
He regretted that kidnapping for ransom has lingered for a long time in Isikwuato until lives were lost.
Also speaking, chief Raymond Nkemdirim, the former DSS director of operations, and secretary south east security committee, maintained that as long as there is high level of youth unemployment, the society would continue to have the youths engage in criminality.
He also spoke on the need for improved infrastructure not only in Isikwuato area but in Abia State in general.