Bureau chief Benin – Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has placed a 90- day ban on grazing in Odighi and Odigwuetue communities and their environs as an interim measure to forestall further killings and destruction of property by herdsmen.
Obaseki, who announced the ban during a meeting with members of Odighi, Owan and Odigwuetue communities at the palace of the Enogie of Odighi Community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state, also ordered the arrest of herdsmen on sight.
The governor said the ban became necessary to stop further killings as the duty of his administration remained to protect lives and property of the people of the state. He thereafter set up a special taskforce to fish out herdsmen from the forests and the communities.
According to him, “We have set up a special taskforce made up of the army, police, State Security Service, hunters and vigilante groups to comb the bushes and dislodge squatter camps of killer herdsmen and ensure no grazing takes place in Odighi, Odiguetue communities and environs.”
Obaseki said that within two weeks, the taskforce would go round the affected communities to get information that would help dislodge the criminals who pose as herdsmen in the forest, noting that “before now Fulani herdsmen were known for carrying sticks around to control their cattle, but today some of them have become criminals.”
He said there was the need to separate herdsmen from cattle rustlers, who steal cattle, invade farms, r**e and kill people, and assured that efforts were being made to identify the real herdsmen in the state. Obaseki said his administration was set to scale up agricultural activities in Odighi Community which was once known as the food basket of the state.
He pledged to fix the water system in the area and re-construct the old roads in the community to open up the area for development.
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