Paul Ogbebor, a retired Colonel in the Nigeria Army, has called for the formation of a regional force by the West African Heads of State to confront the menace of herdsmen in the Sub-Saharan region.
Ogbebor made the call during a press conference in Benin-City, Wednesday, in reaction to a statement credited to Gen. Theophilous Danjuma (Rtd) calling on Nigerians to defend themselves against herdsmen.
The ex-military officer, who noted that the herdsmen and farmers clashes were a regional problem that had also plagued countries in the West Africa like Ghana, Sierra-Leone, Cote d’ Ivoire, described the Danjuma’s call as a disappointment taken too far.
Ogbebor, who advised Nigeria government and its citizenry to put heads together and proffer solution on how to solve the problem, however advocated for a meeting of Heads of State in the West African region to fashion out ways of addressing the issue.
He also called on the federal government to engaged the service of retired military and police officers who retired over 10 years ago to address the challenge posed by herdsmen in the country.
“Retirees from the military and police should be engaged to hold ground in their respective local governments because they know their areas well. They don’t need to be armed, their duties as result of their training was to give early warning signal to serving police and the military for action,”
“During civil war, we recalled soldiers who fought in the Second World War and it worked for us. We are in a state of war, we should do the same thing and engage those that have retired from the police or military to save the situation,” he said.
“Dajuma is a highly respected army general who contributed so much to the building of this country. I am sure that was why he made the statements about herdsmen’s killing, indicting the military and also asking Nigerians to take up arms and defend themselves. I think his disappointment over what is happening in this country today is taken too far,” he said.
“The problem with Nigeria is corruption and it is behind the problem happening in Nigeria today. We don’t have leadership problem but system failure. All that we need to do now is to support the president,” he stated.