A paramount ruler in Kogi State, Eje Dekina, Alhaji Usman Obaje, has applauded the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, for his efforts at ending the Fulani herdsmen’s killings at Ogane-Enigu and Ojuwo-Ajomaigbi in Dekina and Bassa local government areas of the state.
The governor, who travelled for over five hours on the rugged road in the thick forest to inspect the various communities, said a commission of enquiry would be instituted to unravel the cause of the mayhem.
The traditional ruler, while giving the commendation at Aloko-Ogane-Enigu on Saturday, said since the creation of the state in 1991, no governor had ever visited the agrarian communities, not even in 2015 when they were first attacked by herdsmen.
“I am particularly surprised that the governor can take time out of his tight schedule to travel all the way into this forest in search of peace for the people. A former governor, who is our son, when this incident happened during his time, never came here. The local government is particularly happy with the governor for the show of love,” he stated.
He noted that many people who fled their respective villages to neighbouring towns for safety had started returning following the heavy deployment of military surveillance to the communities.
According to him: “In the recent past, there had been crises between farmers and herdsmen. And in their wake, many lives and property worth millions of naira were lost. But no governor had ever come here for first-hand information. Rather, the governors delegated their subordinates to visit the villages.
“Honestly, when the news reached me that Governor Bello was visiting the villages ravaged by the armed bandits, I was surprised and started moving to Ogane-Enigu ahead of him. Despite the fact that the villages in this part of the local government do not have good roads, the governor endured the stress to make an indelible history. This is a commitment expected of every leader, to enable him address issues without fear or favour.”
The royal father, who expressed appreciation to the governor, reported the dearth of basic social amenities such as water, electricity and roads in Adumu, Aloko, Oganeinugu, Ojuole and Omayege communities, and appealed to the governor for assistance in that direction.
Bello, while addressing troops of 913 Battalion of the Nigerian Army stationed at Aloko-Ogane-Enigu in Dekina Local Government Area, said his on-the-spot assessment visit was aimed at ending the hostilities and restoring peace to the affected communities.
He said the armed bandits were poised to sack the communities but were contained by security agencies that included the Army, police and the Department of State Security.
According to him: “The primary responsibility of any government is to protect life and property. We shall not play politics with the lives of our people.
“We shall unravel everything that is behind these attacks. By the grace of God, the recent attack shall turn out to be the last.”
The governor sympathised with the families affected and ensured that those injured received prompt medical attention.
Bello, who lamented the dearth of basic social amenities in the area, blamed previous administrations in the state for neglecting the people, assuring them that government in no distant time would provide potable water, electricity and roads for the communities.
He urged the communities to cooperate with the security agents by providing useful information to enable them tackle the cause of the crisis.
However, contrary to widespread report and pictorial evidence that over 30 people lost their lives, a community leader, Mr. Aaron Wada, who briefed the governor, said 12 people were killed.