Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, says the repeated clashes between Fulani herdsmen and local farmers can deteriorate if not properly managed.
In a statement signed on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Edo State Governor, Peter Okhiria, Oshiomhole said the state would neither ban grazing nor farming.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting, which was convened to proffer solutions to the clashes between the herdsmen and farmers in the state, the governor said the crisis ‘can escalate beyond what we can manage quietly.’
“Edo State Government will prosecute any rapist, any kidnapper, any rustler, who takes people’s cows. I think listening to all the stakeholders, whether royal fathers, farmers, Fulani herdsmen, everybody agreed that neither rape nor robbery, nor destruction of farms, nor rustling of cattle is acceptable.”
“I think we are all committed to ensuring that we put an end to any of these practices so that all of us can continue to live together in peace, harmony and in security.”
“In every conflict, you will find someone you can describe as the oppressor. Somebody might be blamed, but every conflict can be resolved if all the parties approach the solution with honest intentions and whatever agreement reached, we faithfully try to implement. That way, there will be peace.”
“Like the migrant Fulani representative said, ‘you cannot decree a solution, but we can work towards a solution.’ And we have to use both carrot and stick approach.”
Oshiomhole said the state would set up about 19 committees, one committee in each of the 18 Local Government Areas of the state to resolve the incessant clashes.