From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has promised to ensure the safety and security of all residents in the state irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation.
He made the promise at meeting with the Hausa Community in the state on Thursday, where the Sarkin Hausawa of Edo, Alhaji Adamu Isa, debunked a purported video circulating on social media alleging the killing of some herdsmen in Benin, describing the video as false and malicious.
The governor while speaking after the closed-door meeting in Government House, Benin City, said the purported video was a deliberate attempt by misguided people with the intent to cause fear and chaos in the country.
“From what I have seen, from what I have heard, I have gone round communities and what I could see is just a deliberate attempt by some misguided people to play politics with security in Nigeria.
“This is really unfortunate; I went round some communities a few days ago. Yes, there have been unfortunate incidents and it’s not unusual at this time of the year.
“A lot of herdsmen are looking for greener pastures and then stray into other people’s property and farm lands. We have set up systems to check this in Edo State; we are just going to reactivate those systems.
“Every local government must have a committee to look into and deal with herders and farmers crisis; this committee must have a minimum of three representatives from Arewa and Fulani communities and other dominant communities in the local government.
“On the other side, you will have the representatives of traditional institutions and the security agencies who are supposed to intervene whenever there is a crisis in those areas”, Obaseki said.
He disclosed that a command-and-control centre has been created to allow members of the Arewa community with useful information to address the farmer/herders’ crisis to volunteer such anonymously.
On his part, the Sarkin Hausa of Edo said “We have discussed the issue of banditry, herders and farmers crisis and other security challenges and the lies being posted on social media that some Arewa members were being killed in Edo.
“So, as far as I am concerned, as the Sarkin Hausa of Benin, who is the head of all the Arewa communities in Edo, I have not gotten facts about this story being spread on social media.
“As far as we are concerned, Edo is a peace-loving place”.
Noting that herders and farmers clashes was an old issue in the state, Alhaji Isa promised to do everything within his power to assist the government to reduce the current security challenges in the state.