Obaseki moves against herdsmen in Edo

    Edo State Gov. Godwin Obaseki has banned night grazing and armed herdsmen in the
    He has also set up a seven-man committee in each of the 18 local government areas to check herdsmen, farmers’ clashes.
    On the committee will be chairmen or heads of the LGAs, the Divisional Police Officers, representatives of the Department of State Services and four representatives from the communities in the state.
    At a stakeholders’ meeting with the Seriki Hausa/Fulani leaders from the 18 LGAs in the state, on Thursday, the governor charged the committee to “review all cases of herdsmen/farmers’ clashes in all the local government areas.”
     “A special team made up of the police, army, civil defence corps and other security agencies in the state will carry out random patrols and search operations,” he said.
    “Any herdsman found in possession of firearms will be arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearms as cattle rearers do not need an AK47 to herd cattle.”
    He asked people’s support for information which he said is vital to the police and other security agencies.
    “We have placed a ban on night herding; nobody should herd their cattle at night. We have also placed a ban on hunting activities by people from other states in the name of hunting.”
    There will be another committee that he would head, which will comprise the state commissioner of police, the Director of the DSS in the state, the commander of the 4 Brigade and representatives of the communities across the three senatorial districts in the state as members.
    “Every three months we will meet with the representatives of the local government committees to review and examine the progress being made in resolving the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes in the state.”
    The Chairman, Edo State Hausa Community, Alhaji Badamasi Saleh, advised that a mechanism should be put in place to protect informants as most members of the communities “find it difficult to volunteer information to the security agencies as they fear that their identities would not be protected.”
    Alhaji Usman Abdullahi, representing the Hausa/Fulani community in Edo Central Senatorial District, pledged that his people would cooperate with the state government and work with the security agencies in the state to fish out the criminals among.
    Armed men suspected to be Fulani herders invaded a number of communities in the state weeks ago—just as similar incidents have been recurring across the nation since January 1.