Dapo Abiodun, Governor of Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria says his administration would bring those behind the recent clash between herdsmen and farmers in Eggua, Yewa-North Council Area of the state, to book.
Last week, when a self-styled Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho visited the state to ‘evict’ Fulani cattle herders who have been accused of kidnapping and killings in the Southwest, violence erupted in Eggua with one person found dead and properties destroyed.
Igboho had issued a similar quit notice to herders in Igangan, a community in Oyo State, following which properties including the traditional ruler of the Fulani community in the area were razed.
Under Nigerian law, it is unlawful for anyone to give quit notice to another group to leave the region where they are residing.
A statement by Kunle Somorin, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, in Abeokuta, the state capital on Saturday said that the governor had directed that those behind the violent clash be brought to justice as he set up a special task force to maintain peace in the areas prone to herders-farmers conflict in the state.
“Our first priority in Ogun is the safety of lives and property of everyone and we will not compromise on that,” Somorin quoted the governor as said in the statement.
“We will not condone any act of criminality in the state, no matter who is involved.”
“We will not allow anybody to disrupt the peace in Ogun and anyone who tries to test our resolve to maintain peace in our state will have himself or herself to blame.’’
Meanwhile, Abiodun commiserated with the family of the deceased and also expressed sympathy to those who lost their farmlands as well as cows during the incident.
The statement said the governor had convened an expansive stakeholders’ meeting involving farmers, herdsmen and other stakeholders to bring about lasting peace in the state.
“Our state is known for being a haven of peace, security and harmonious relationship amongst people of different ethnic groups whether citizens or settlers, who consider the state their home,” he further said in the statement.
“This is a long and cherished tradition that we are proud of and which this administration is committed to sustaining.”
“We, therefore, condemn in strong terms the recent unfortunate violence orchestrated by certain elements to set an agenda that is inimical to public security and safety.’’
“The police and other security agencies have been directed to go after the perpetrators of this act and bring them to book.”
Police Make Arrests
The Ogun State Police Command said they had arrested some suspects of the violent clash in the Yewa community.
Abimbola Oyeyemi, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, said the suspects would be punished so as to serve as a deterrent to the public, adding that the police would not condone further assaults on herdsmen.
“The command has arrested some suspects in connection with the recent incidents and will make an example of them to serve as a deterrent to others,” Oyeyemi said.
“Kingpins, procurers and counsellors of these hoodlums will also be fished out to face the law.”
He added that it was unlawful for anyone to eject the herdsmen just as it was not proper for herdsmen to vandalise people’s farms and property.
Sunday Igboho had claimed that he was in Ogun State on the invitation of the State Government to help get rid of the Fulani herdsmen. He was seen in a viral video making the claim. But the state government has since denied the claim.
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