No agreement to establish cattle colonies in Edo State –Obaseki’s Aide insists

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…PDP looking for trouble where there is none

The Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, has declared as frivolous, comments by the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the strategic steps the Edo State government has taken in bringing the clashes between cattle herders and farmers to an end, in the state.

Osagie cautioned the opposition party not to trivialise a sensitive subject matter that requires a great deal of expertise to comprehend, a requirement he said, the PDP lacks and urged the party to know where to draw the line of propaganda.

“We want to state as we did before that there is no agreement to establish cattle colonies in Edo State. Our decision was based on expert finding after a scientific research on the herdsmen/farmers clashes in the state. The Obaseki administration subjects every issue to critical thinking, wide consultation and research.

“But unlike us, we have noticed that the Edo PDP’s decisions and declarations are never thought through and are self-serving. As we expect, because of the learning challenges of members of the Edo PDP, it seems to be an uphill task for them to comprehend the position of the state government despite the repeated declaration that there is no agreement to establish cattle colonies in Edo State. “Or is the Edo PDP subtly pushing for the establishment of cattle colonies?” He asked.

He maintained that “A study of this matter has shown that an overwhelming majority of the nefarious activities of herdsmen happen at night. We are taking our decision based on the findings of a scientific research and not some knee-jerk reactions that are characteristic of the Edo PDP.”

He asked the chairman of Edo PDP, Dan Orbih, to honestly tell Edo people and Nigerians if the total ban on cattle movement in any part of the country, be it at night or day, has stopped herdsmen from rearing their cattle across the country.

“In the states where cattle rearing have been banned from moving in the day and night, are there no herdsmen activities or cattle in those states?”

The governor’s aide stressed that “to make declarations that are not realistic and sustainable for the sake of talking is not the style of this administration.”

He explained that “the ban on night-grazing and armed herdsmen are steps in the right direction in addition to the setting up of two committees that will monitor the activities of herdsmen in all parts of the state.”

Edo State Government on Thursday after a crucial meeting with representatives of the various Fulani communities in the state and security officials, announced a ban on night grazing and the carrying of guns and other dangerous weapons by herdsmen in the state.

He also announced a seven-man committee in each of the 18 Local Government Areas in the state to check clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

“The seven-man committee will include the chairmen or heads of the LGAs, the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), representatives of State Security Service and four representatives from the communities in the state.

At the stakeholders’ meeting with the Serikis Hausa/Fulani from the 18 LGAs in the state, Obaseki charged the committee to “review all cases of herdsmen/farmer clashes in all the local government areas.”

He said the State Government would release the report of clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the state to the committees for review.

He explained: “The committees will ensure the registration of all the Serikis Fulani in every community across all the local government areas and the Seriki Fulani will liaise with everyone rearing cattle in the area.”

According to the governor, there will be another committee that will be headed by him and members of the committee will include the State Commissioner of Police, the Director of the State Security Service in the state, the Commander of 4 Brigade with other members drawn from the communities across the three senatorial districts in the state.

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