Obaseki goes on fact-finding to troubled areas of killer Fulani herdsmen attacks in Edo, promises to depoliticize security crisis

February 10, 2021
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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State is leading heads of security agencies in the state to troubled parts of the state reported to be attacked by Fulani herdsmen. The governor, leading the heads of security agencies on a fact-finding tour of Udo, Ovia South West Local Government Area, promised that the state government will not politicise the security crisis. He stated that the government scrutinizing the incidence to isolate and deal with the issues as they emerge in order to ensure lasting security to communities in the state.

Governor Obaseki at the Palace of the Iyase of Udo, His Royal Highness (HRH) Patrick Igbinidu, highlighted: “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 governor further declared: “The state government is providing adequate security to protect the lives and property of the people. The security structure of the state has been rejigged 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.”

The governor acknowledged: “Some of the crisis we have in the sub-continent today has 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.”

The Iyase of Udo, HRH Patrick Igbinidu, disclosed that the security challenges in the community have been on for a very long time. “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,” he said.
Governor Obaseki, at town hall meeting, promised the indigenes that his administration would protect residents in the state, adding that he is governor for all.

The governor was of the view that “the Fulani Community should collaborate with the government and security agencies to fish out criminals;” assuring: “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.”

The Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Mr. Philip Ogbadu, 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.”

The leader of Fulani Community in the area, Alhaji Muhammad Buhari, commended Governor Obaseki for the fact-finding mission to the area. he said that Fulani community in the area are peace-loving people and has lived in the community for years, assuring that his people will always support peaceful atmosphere.

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