The Oyo state government has annonced plans to get all cattle herdsmen in the state registered.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi dropped the hint on Monday while addressing the farmers, Fulani herdsmen, Agbekoyas, community leaders, security operatives and others during a stakeholders meeting which held at the House of Chiefs, House of Assembly Complex, Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan.
He said the government was instituting a monthly stakeholders meeting and setting up of a special task force to monitor the activities of farmers and herdsmen across the state in order to avaoid crisis.
While emphasizing the importance of peaceful living among the people, Governor Ajimobi noted that there is no difference between people irrespective of their tribes but that the selfish human nature had been the bane of the issues which had led to crisis often times.
The governor stressed that Oyo state will continue to be accommodating and hospitable to everyone irrespective of race, tribe or ethnicity.
His words: “There is no difference between us as humans. We are the same but our selfishness, greed and avarice are what accounts for all our actions against each other. Everything is all about our selfishness and self-preservation. There is nobody here who is without the trace of human trace of selfishness
“We must sit down with all the relevant stakeholders, Miyetti Allah, farmers, community leaders and security operatives and begin a monthly meeting on how to continue this effort. Oyo state is known for accommodation, we are known for our hospitality. We accommodate people in Oyo state and we must remain so. We must begin to implement the recommendations of the stakeholders proffered at earlier meetings and not until there is a crisis.
“This meeting must take place every month and I will always be in attendance. All the security chiefs will be attendance. Prevention is always better than cure and we must consider that thoroughly. The second recommendation is that for all herdsmen, we must know all the Fulanis with herds in Oyo state. We must know them and register them and if possible, we must register and know their cows too.
“What the white has ahead of us is that they keep so many records and data. The government must play a major role in this game and what is the purpose of government, it is the protection and enhancement of the security and peace of the people. When things are this difficult, setting up a task force is the way out. When we had the problem of insecurity in general in the state, we introduced the Operation Burst, so let us use that task force approach and let’s have security and our Operation Burst can do it.
“Our Operation Burst from time to time will be saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that we don’t have the case of criminals or cattle rustlers under the pretence of being herdsmen. All the stakeholders must sit and meet and suggest ways out. We are going to be using Operation Burst as parts and parcel of checking this menace. It means we will equip them the more.”
The governor also used the opportunity to reinstate his believe in the ranching system as opposed to open grazing but noted that the stakeholders at the subsequent meetings must come up with workable modalities and set a timeframe pending the time ranching, which he described as the big picture would be actualized.
The State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude in his remark noted that despite the effort of the state, Command at fostering peace through such stakeholders engagement have recovered nine dead bodies in the last two weeks.
He appealed to the stakeholders to embrace peace and peaceful living warning that the Command has all it takes to ensure security of lives and property are not compromised.
He said, “I want to inform the governor that about three weeks ago, we called a meeting of all the stakeholders like this and about a week later, the Special Adviser on Community Relations also did the same thing but in the past three weeks, things that have not happened in the state have started happening.
“On the fifth of this month, a case of cattle rustler was reported in Saki and the SARS team was deployed to go and get the other people but on their way, they were ambushed and the Commander of SARS in Saki was butchered. Another police man was also butchered but he didn’t die. The suspect that was arrested was also killed.
“In Iseyin, about three days after that, we had a situation where a 70year old man was just killed on his farm. Two days later, we recovered five dead bodies in that same area and we are still investigating. About two days ago, another person was also killed.
“But one thing I am sure of is that, policemen don’t die in vain. In the case of the policemen that were killed, about seven people have been arrested and we will arrest more. In Iseyin, we are still investigating and the culprits would soon be brought to book. In Ile Ido, two suspects have been arrested.
In the last two weeks, here we have nine dead bodies that are yet to be accounted for. One thing I also want to add is that we are ready, we have the men, we have the equipment, the will and the capacity and we will not allow law and order to be broken down in the state. Anybody that feels he is above the law, we will deal with accordingly. And we hope that after this meeting, things will begin to work better in the state.”