Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has warned that there would be no room for cattle herders to bear assault rifles and other dangerous weapons in the state.
The governor made the remark on Tuesday at the Palace of the Iyase of Udo, His Royal Highness, Patrick Igbinidu, when he led heads of security agencies in the state on a fact-finding visit to Udo, Ovia South-west Local Government Area of the state.
Obaseki, who stated that his administration will not politicise security issues in the state, noted that efforts are being taken to isolate and deal with the issues as they emerge, so as to provide lasting security to communities across the state.
“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,” Obaseki said.
According to him, “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 herdsme
“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 disclosed that his government is doing everything possible to provide adequate security to protect the lives and property of the people, adding that the security structure of the state has been rigid 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.