From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has inaugurated a 20-man Peace Keeping Committee on the farmer-herder crisis in the state.
Inaugurating the committee headed by a former House of Representatives member, Kayode Oladele, on Saturday, at the Obas’ Complex, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, Abiodun mandated members of the panel to determine the cause of the ethnic clashes in Yewaland, the losses and recommend how to forestall recurrence.
He gave the committee comprising state security chiefs, traditional rulers, lawmakers, government officials, representatives of Fulani herdsmen and farmers, four weeks to submit its report.
The governor equally noted that while committee assignment takes immediate effect, his government would roll out palliatives to the victims of the clashes to cushion the effect of their losses.
He added that some victims displaced due to the crisis would be provided with shelter.
‘The first assignment will be to determine what really happened. What happened? What happened that disrupted the peace we enjoyed in this state and in that particular area for so long? Because it is in determining what happened that we will ensure such will not repeat itself again.
‘After that, we now look at, what has it cost us? What have we lost? So, this committee must determine what it has cost us.
‘The committee will determine how do we ensure this does not happen again. After the submission of the report which must be within four weeks, I am hoping that this committee can even finish the assignment in two weeks.
‘Then, the committee will now proceed to be a standing committee that will ensure that peace and harmony continue to reign within all of us,’ Governor Abiodun stated.
Speaking at his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday at the State House, Abuja, Abiodun explained that the president was impressed with the approach adopted in tackling the crisis in the state.
The governor said Buhari equally recommended, ‘the model’ to other states in the resolution of farmers and herders clashes.
‘Yesterday (Friday) I had a meeting with Mr President to brief him on details of what happened in Ogun State because he wanted to know exactly what happened.
‘I am pleased to say that Mr President was very impressed with the way we managed and handled the situation, to the point where he has recommended our model to be adopted in the resolution of such crisis in other parts of the country.
‘To that extent, he instructed his Chief of Staff to hold another meeting with us on Saturday afternoon in Ibadan and that meeting is meant to share with the rest of us, how we should or how we resolve this type of dispute between herders and farmers so that we will continue to enjoy the peaceful coexistence that has characterised our states from time immemorial,’ he added.
Responding, a committee member and lawmaker representing Imeko/Afon State Constituency in the Ogun State House of Assembly, Jemili Akingbade, applauded the governor for quick action and responses. He promised that the members would carry out its assignment diligently.
‘Your Excellency, I want to assure you that the committee will perform beyond expectation,’ Akingbade assured.