.Embarks on fact-finding tour, to provide grazing areas
By Ozioruva Aliu
THE governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki yesterday condemned the attempts to politicise the security situation in the country just as he said his administration was working to isolate and deal with the issues as they emerge so as to provide lasting security to communities across the state.
Besides, he said his administration would create grazing areas to avoid clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
Obaseki stated this when he led heads of security agencies in the state on a fact-finding visit to Udo, Ovia South West Local Government Area of the state.
He said resolving the security challenges was a collective one and urged the Fulani communities in the state cooperate with their host communities and government agencies to check insecurity.
At the Palace of the Iyase of Udo, His Royal Highness (HRH) Patrick Igbinidu, Obaseki 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.
“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.”
He continued: “The state government is providing adequate security to protect the lives and property of the people. The security structure of the state has been rejig and revamped.”
At a town hall meeting, Obaseki assured the people that his administration would protect residents in the state as he is governor for all.
He urged “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.
“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.”
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 complain 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.”
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, noting, “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.”
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 and has lived in the community for years and his people will always support peaceful atmosphere.