From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Thursday evening, formally received the report of committee he set up on farmers/herders conflicts, declaring that “never again should the people of the Ogun allow misunderstanding to descend into violence as witnessed in the relationship between indigenes and settlers in all the communities in the state.”
Abiodun had set up the peace committee on farmers/herders conflicts in the wake of bloody clashes between farmers and herders in the state, particularly in the Yewa North and Imeko Afon Local Government Areas.
While receiving the report from the committee headed by the former House of Reps member, Kayode Oladele, in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the governor noted that the recent farmers/herders conflict in some parts of the state negatively affected the peaceful nature which the state was noted for.
While saying urgent steps needed to be taken to address the menace, the governor urged indigenes and the settlers in the state to continue to live in peace as they had done for ages. He wondered what would have caused disaffection among them, leading to a face-off, loss of lives, properties, livelihood, while many sustained various degrees of wound in the three affected local government areas – Imeko/Afon, Yewa North and Yewa South.
He restated that the committee was set up with a mandate to find out the immediate and remote causes of the crisis, quantify the losses from all sides and come up with recommendations on how government can preempt similar occurrences in the future.
The Gov Abiodun noted that, “this axis has a communication problem which prevented our people from communicating especially in times of crisis. We are solving this problem because telecommunication companies have started erecting their masts and very soon communication will improve in these areas.”
Earlier, Chairman of the Committee, Kayode Oladele, noted that farmers/herders clashes were the major security challenges facing the state, saying that apart from having a negative impact on food security, it also brought hardship to the inhabitants of the affected areas as their sources of livelihood were destroyed.