Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, met with relevant stakeholders to review the government’s strategies at improving security and stemming herders-farmers crisis in the state.
The governor, at a stakeholders’ town hall meeting on the proposed Anti-Open Grazing Law for Edo State, said the delay in the signing of the law was to ensure the crafting of an implementable law that would put an end to the growing insecurity and economic challenges in the state.
Stakeholders at the event were drawn from different walks of life, including traditional rulers, youth groups, religious bodies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), among others.
Said Obaseki: “We are one of the few states that are yet to sign the anti-open grazing law, and the reason is simple; it doesn’t make sense to put out a law you cannot enforce. The best way of enforcing a law is to bring everybody together to be part of that law. We have a crisis in our country, it is deeply rooted; there are different causes. Let us go to the root of the causes and resolve it from there.
“People have said that we have lived a hundred years together in harmony before now. Why are we having these problems today? If we don’t go to the reason, then we will be scratching the surface. Let us start by understanding why we are having this challenge. The anti-grazing law, in my view, is to deal with some perceptions. I want to tell you that this is not an issue between Christians and Muslims; it is not an issue between north and south, and it is not an issue between Edo and Fulani people.
“As long as we have decided that we will eat meat and drink milk, we will have to sit down and rearrange the business, engaging the people who are producing these foods on how they must organise themselves. Let us not play politics with this issue; let us deal with it honestly and openly. There are security implications because some people have now joined and are using these herders to perpetuate insecurity. My worry is that if we don’t separate them so that we can know those people who are using cattle herding to perpetrate crime and insecurity in our state, we will be missing the point.”