By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin City
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State Monday admonished farmers and residents not to be deterred by activities of some bad eggs among nomadic herdsmen, declaring that not all herders are killer.
The Edo governor said: “Not all herdsmen are killers. Some of them are doing genuine business. We should not allow the bad herdsmen activities scare us from our farms.”
“In every society, you have the good, bad and ugly; and there have always been Fulani herdsmen since we were kids. That is what we are seeing now”, he said.
Obaseki who stated this at a symposium organized by the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Edo State said his administration has stepped up plans to address the menace of herdsmen/farmers clash.
Part of the plan according to the governor is the banning of night crazing and arms carrying herdsmen in the State.
Represented by the Special Adviser on Food Security and Agriculture, Mr. Joe Okoje, Obaseki disclosed that a 7-man committee which includes Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), DSS has been inaugurated across the 18 local government area of the State to address the menace.
The symposium is titled: “Sustainable Agriculture as a Panacea to Herdsmen Attack on Arable Crop Farmers in Nigeria”.
Earlier in her address, the Chairman of the Correspondent Chapel, Mrs. Nefishetu Yakubu said: “If we must help government of the day to achieve its quest to diversify the economy through agriculture, then we must begin by first proffering solutions to the herdsmen attack on arable crops farmers.
On his part, The State Comptroller Prisons, Mr. Amadin Osayande said: “as custodian offenders, we have no herder as inmate in our custody.
Osayande who described himself as part-time farmer said his farm was set on fire last year by marauding herdsmen.
He expressed concern over the carrying of arms by herders adding that “when there’s food sinecurity, there will be hunger.
Also, an associate Professor in the faculty of Agriculture, Ambrose Ali University Dr. Agharese Osifo submitted that word “Livestock Development Centre” should be used in the federal government proposed “Cattle Colony”.
According to him, colony should not be a sectional thing because Nigeria is a multi-ethnic country.