The Ogun State government has commenced the process of finding a lasting solution to the alleged incessant killings and maiming of residents of some villages by suspected herdsmen.
To this end, a government delegation comprising top government officials and representatives of security agencies visited the affected areas on Sunday on a “confidence-building mission.”
The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Afolabi Afuape, speaking at the palace of Olu Ilaro pointed out that clashes between the farmers and herders are a national problem.
Mr Afuape said the state government was looking at ways of finding an enduring solution to it, stressing that the government was not happy with recent happenings in some parts of the State.
“Government is not happy with what is happening in this area. Government is not happy with what is going on in this part of the State. We have come on the instruction of the State Governor to see what can be done to address this crisis because the State government is not happy with what is happening’, he said.
“I must stress the need for peaceful co-existence among all our people irrespective of where you come from. Though this crisis is a national issue, government is putting security plans in place to secure the lives of our people in this area”, he said.
The commissioner stressed the need for the people to be vigilant by reporting strange faces and movements to security officials, as government cannot afford crisis in any part of the state.
In his own remarks, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Abdulwaheed Odusile, appealed to the people not take the law into their hands, but to allow security agencies and traditional rulers to handle the situation.
Mr Odusile, while calling for peaceful co-existence among the indigenes and people from other ethnic groups, said that an all-inclusive stakeholders meeting was scheduled to hold soon to find solutions to the problems.
He expressed appreciation to the royal fathers in the area for dousing the tension that arose as a result of herdsmen attack, calling for the sharing of necessary information that would lead to the end of the crisis.
The commissioner said the state government was poised to finding a permanent solution to the crisis in the state.
The Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland, Kehinde Olugbenle, acknowledged similar challenges in other parts of the country but added that it was becoming pronounced in the state in recent times.
The monarch called for the immediate setting up of the Amotekun Corps in the state while appealing to the government to involve traditional rulers in selecting its operatives who know their different terrains.
“The state governor has done well by putting in place mechanism to address this problem. I want to plead with the Governor to commission the Amotekun Corps. When doing this all critical stakeholders including the traditional rulers should be involved in recommending people who know the terrains. Round pegs should be put in round holes”, he said.
Mr Olugbenle called for the meeting of all traditional rulers to discuss the issue, advocating the inscription of owner’s name on each cattle, maintaining that this would help in identifying the owner in event of destruction of farms by cattle.
The Eselu of Iselu, Ebenezer Akinyemi, in his own contributions during the visit to his palace, traced the crisis to cattle feeding on farmers produce and called for the creation of special area for the herders to graze their cattle.
The royal father also called for the rehabilitation of schools in the area to attract more children, pointing out that out of school children were increasing in the area.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Sola Subair, said a Joint Security Task Force which would be stationed in the affected areas would take off next week.
The Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, while speaking, noted that policemen have been deployed to the affected areas as the government has given security agencies the wherewithal to bring peace to the areas.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Inter-ethnic Affairs, Hadi Sani, who spoke in Hausa and Yoruba languages, pleaded with the people to be peaceful as no meaningful development could take place in a violent ridden environment.
The member, representing Yewa North State Constituency 2, Haruna Egungbohun, who commended the efforts of the state governor at combating the menace of the herdsmen, called on the state government to continue to beef up the axis with security operatives to prevent further loss of lives.
The delegation in the course of the visit had a town hall meeting with the people of Oja Odan, addressed the people at Ibeshe and Ilaro Garage, as well as the Hausa community at Dangote Cement Factory at Ibeshe and Kara, Abeokuta, where they appealed for calm and support in finding amicable solutions to the crisis
Some of the people who spoke at the meeting called for the protection of farmers and their produce in the areas, assuring that they were ready to live in peace with their neighbours.
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