Herdsmen to floats Edo as Obaseki promises to provide grazing area for herders over attacks | NN NEWS

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, called on the Fulani community in the state to collaborate with his administration and security agencies to fish out criminals, promising to create an area for them to graze their cattle to avoid the cows moving into farmlands and round communities. 

He made the call at a town hall meeting with the people of Udo in Ovia South West Local Government of the state, where he led security heads on a fact-finding tour around some parts of the state to access the security situation particularly as it relates to farmers and herders’ conflicts in the state. 
At the meeting, Obaseki assured the people that his administration would protect residents in the state as he is governor for all. 
“The Fulani Community should collaborate with the government and security agencies to fish out criminals. We will create an area where the cattle will go regularly to eat, as they must not go to peoples’ farms. This will stop cattle from moving round the community including in farmlands”, Obaseki said.‎ 
Recall that the governor had in a lecture he delivered in Abuja in July 2019, said “The Sambisa Grazing Reserve (4800 ha) is an ideal and symbolic place to take-off by establishing a ranch run by the military. It would significantly improve the security situation in the zone and encourage cooperation between pastoralists and the military. 

“In the North-West, the military should also be encouraged to create ranches in the Gidan Jaja Grazing Reserve (565,000 ha) for the same purpose of improving security and cooperation with pastoralists (NWGPG, 2018). 

“For us, because it is business like any other private business, the state should not really have much to do except we create an enabling environment for those people we want to invest in livestock business. So, the issue of giving state land for livestock, it won’t happen in Edo State”. 

But yesterday, Obaseki Obaseki said his administration will not politicise security issues in the state, adding that efforts are being taken to isolate and deal with the issues as they emerge so as to provide lasting security to communities across the state. 

The governor who spoke at the Palace of the Iyase of Udo, His Royal Highness (HRH) Patrick Igbinidu, said “We are on a fact-finding tour around some parts of the state today to access the security situation particularly as it relates to farmers and herders’ conflicts in the state. 

“As a government, we do not believe that we should politicise security. It is important that we get the facts right and understand what exactly is going on. We had reports about the crisis or impending crisis around this axis. 

“We have also had all sorts of anxieties. Well, I will call them speculations on social media about herdsmen being pushed off from neighboring states into this area and the escalating crisis or impending crisis. 

“We have had situations that have resulted in conflicts between herders and farmers. Our position is that we have to manage this crisis carefully. Like I said, we should not politicise the issues of herdsmen in our society. 

“We do not accept the situation whereby anybody will be herding cattle with AK-47 rifles and other dangerous weapons. We also understand that there are bandits and criminals who pretend to be herders but undertake criminal activities such as kidnapping in the name and guise of being herdsmen. 

“I have always argued that we should separate these people and deal with each one accordingly. Today, we are here to undertake assessments ourselves and to assure the people of Ovia South West of adequate security being provided by the government to protect the people. 

“The state government is providing adequate security to protect the lives and property of the people. The security structure of the state has been rigid and revamped. 

“We will not also accept the situation where people want to use the current security challenges to destabilise our country. We have no other country. Every country has its own challenges but they look for ways to resolve these challenges. 

“We have major security challenges in the country as well as the whole of the Sahara region. I think leadership in this country should be responsible and ensure that we focus on the specific crisis, some of which is not anybody’s doing. 

“Some of the crises we have in the sub-continent today have to do with environmental changes. We should all come together and look for ways to confront these emerging security problems and not to begin to take it out of context because of cheap political gains to create crisis in the country.” 

Earlier, the Iyase of Udo, HRH Patrick Igbinidu, said that the security challenges in his community have been on for a very long time, adding, “Farmers always complained about the activities of the herdsmen. When I received such reports, I had to call both parties to resolve the issues immediately. We have been on it for a very long time”. 

On his part, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Philip Agbadu, assured of the readiness of his men in ensuring peace in the troubled areas in the state. 

“I urge Fulani leaders to ensure that children are not allowed to follow the cattle for grazing as they may not be able to control them”, he said. 

In his remarks, the leader of Fulani Community in the area, Alhaji Muhammad Buhari expressed appreciation to the governor for the fact-finding mission to the area, adding that Fulani community in the area are peace-loving people who have lived in the community for years and his people will always support peaceful atmosphere. 

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