The strategies adopted by the government of the State of Osun to prevent herdsmen attack which has been prevalent in some neighbouring states seem to be working well; as such attacks have not been pronounced in the state.
Commissioner for Special Duty, Honourable Mudashir Toogun said, “Governor Rauf Aregbesola has been proactive on the issue even before it becomes a security threat across the country, as far back as June 2014 when a committee was set up to interface between Fulani/Bororo herdsmen and farmers in the state, to see to the grievances arising from their respective activities.
In a chat with OSUN DEFENDER, Toogun said the mandate for the committee was to ensure smooth relationship between the herdsmen and farmers and design strategies to ensure that their activities do not lead to crisis in the agrarian areas in the state.
The committee, according to him, comprises of farmers, officials of relevant government agencies, Fulani/Bororo groups, adding that the activities of the committee had since been ensuring sustainability of peace between farmers and the herdsmen.
He said: “Part of the strategies we have adopted is to familiarise ourselves with the farmers and the herdsmen and address the issues raised by the two parties.
“For instance, the herdsmen presented their needs, which include the fact that they needed pasture where they can grace their cows, water for them and their cows, Hajj slots, and education for their children, and all these are being addressed.
“In addressing them, the government has provided 11 boreholes in their various settlements, gave them Hajj slots, and renovated nomadic schools in various settlements in collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). All these have given the herdsmen and farmers the confidence that the government is actually determined to ensure peace between the two parties.
“Sometimes, there are issues of some disgruntled herdsmen destroying farmlands, and because of the sincerity of the government and the involvement of the Fulani/Bororos in the state, we were able to identify such cases and where necessary facilitate compensations for the affected farmers.
“Infact, Fulani/Bororo were instrumental to the identification of some set of disgruntled herdsmen who armed themselves and came to the state through Kwara State to Ila-Orangun and to Imesi-Ile in Obokun Local Government but due to the proactive measures put in place by the government, we were able to curtail them and send them packing”, Toogun explained.
He then tasked the people to always be vigilant and notify the appropriate quarters anytime any suspicious move is noticed.