Obaseki Bans Night-Grazing, Armed Herdsmen In Edo

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has banned night grazing and armed herdsmen in the state just as he set up a seven-man committee in each of the 18 local government areas to check herdsmen, farmers’ clashes.

The seven-man committee will include the 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.

Obaseki, who presided over a stakeholders’ meeting with the Seriki Hausa/Fulani leaders from the 18 LGAs in the state, on Thursday, charged the committee to “review all cases of herdsmen/farmers’ clashes in all the local government areas.”

The governor said, “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. 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.

“We will not accept anyone with firearms and anyone found with arms will face the law. We need information to succeed in this fight and information is vital to the police and other security agencies. We assure you of your safety.

“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.”

Obaseki added that another committee that he would head would have the state Commissioner of Police, the Director of the DSS in the state, the Commander of 4 Brigade and representatives of the communities across the three senatorial districts in the state as members.

He noted, “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 criminals among his people.

I Forgive Lalong For Comments On Grazing Law – Ortom

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has reacted to the comments made by his Plateau State counterpart, Mr Simon Lalong, about the prohibition of open grazing in Benue.

Since the law was implemented, there have been series of attacks by suspected herdsmen on some Benue communities, with dozens of people killed in the recent attacks on Logo and Guma local government areas of the state.

Addressing a delegation of the Arewa Consultative Forum on Friday at his office in Makurdi, the Benue governor said he was pained by the comments and consequently called Lalong who denied making such statement.

“Somebody drew my attention yesterday (Thursday) that he (Lalong) made such comments that he warned me not to implement the law and I was wondering if my colleague from Plateau State could say that; so I called him and he told me he did not say it,” said Ortom.

“But later, when I watched it on Channels Television, he castigated me beyond what I thought a colleague of mine should (but) I’ve forgiven him.”

Shortly after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, Governor Lalong told State House correspondents in Abuja that he had warned his Benue counterpart to adopt ranching and not prohibiting open grazing as the solution to the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

He had said, “I told the Governor of Benue when he was doing the law, I told him ‘why don’t you do (ranches)? Be careful, take the other steps before you start implementation; states are different.”

Benue Killings: Miyetti Allah Leadership ‘Cannot Go Scot Free’ – Ortom

in his reaction, Ortom maintained that although he had a discussion with Lalong, he never received any warning from him.

He, however, explained that even if he was warned as claimed, the decision to implement the law was taken by the people of Benue who he said he had consulted.

“At no time did my colleague warned me about this law but even if he had warned me, it was beyond me,” Governor Ortom said. “It originated from the people themselves and even if he had warned me, I would have told him it is beyond me.”

“It’s about Benue State and I’m not talking about Plateau State; that is what the Benue people want. Is there one person in Benue that is against this law? he asked the regional sociocultural group who responded “no”.

The Benue governor further recalled that instead, it was his colleague who informed him during a private visit that he was also under pressure to implement the anti-grazing law in his state.

He said he later called Lalong after he confirmed that the governor actually told reporters he had warned him but his effort to reach the Plateau governor was futile.

He said: “When I saw this on television yesterday, I tried to get back to him (but) he did not pick my call.

“I wanted to remind him, when I finally confirmed that he said it, that the last time I went to Jos for a thanksgiving service in one of the churches, on my way back I felt like paying homage to him and I did and he told me that he’s under pressure to also enact that law that he’s going to do it.”

“He told me himself; so coming back to say that, I don’t understand but all the same, let us leave all these things behind us – if we leaders begin to disagree amongst ourselves, then there is no sign of a solution to these problems,” Ortom added.