*vows Ogun will not witness communal bloody clashes again
By; NIYI OGUNGBOLA, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun on Thursday evening, formally received the report of committee he set up on Farmers/Herders Conflicts, declaring “never again should the people of the Ogun allow misunderstanding descend into violence as witnessed in the relationship between indigenes and settlers in all the communities in the state”.
Abiodun had set up the Peace Committee on Farmers/Herders Conflicts in the wake of bloody clashes between farmers and herders in the state, particularly in the Yewa North and Imeko Afon Local Government Areas of the state.
Receiving the report from the committee headed by the former House of Reps member, Kayode Oladele, in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, the governor noted that the recent farmers/ herders conflict in some parts of the state negatively affected the peaceful nature which the state was noted for.
While saying urgent steps needed to be taken to address the menace, the governor urged indigenes and the settlers in the state to continue to live in peace as they had done for ages.
He wondered what would have caused disaffection among them, leading to a face-off, loss of lives, properties, livelihood, while many sustained various degree of wounds in the three affected local government areas – Imeko/Afon, Yewa North and Yewa South.
He restated that the Committee was set up with a mandate to find out the immediate and remote cause of the crisis, quantify the loses from all sides and come up with recommendations on how government could pre-empt similar occurrences in the future, maintaining “now that we have resolved this, never again should such dastardly skirmishes be allowed.”
According to the Governor, “this Committee was set up by government to basically look into what happened, quantify the loses from both sides and make recommendations to government on how to pre-empt similar conflict from occuring in the future.
“We realised that this axis has a communication problem which prevented our people from communicating especially in times of crisis. We are solving this problem because telecommunication companies have started erecting their masts and very soon communication will improve in these areas”. He added.
The governor who stressed the determination of his administration to ensure that peace is maintained in all parts of the state, disclosed that the state’s roadmap on security had been acknowledged nationwide, adding some state governments have indicated interest in replicating similar steps in their states.
Earlier, Chairman of the Committee, Kayode Oladele, noted that farmers/Herders clashes were the major security challenges facing the state, saying that apart from having negative impact on food security, it also brought hardship to the inhabitants of the affected areas as their sources of livelihood had been destroyed.
He pointed out that in carrying out the assignment, the Committee adopted participatory approach where traditional rulers, community leaders, victims and their relatives as well as other relevant stakeholders were involved.
While thanking the state government for the confidence reposed in them, the Chairman said the report includes recommendations which if implemented, would go a long way in finally settling the crisis once and for all.