Anti- open grazing law cannot be enforced in the state without first identifying the root causes of farmer-herders crisis says Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki.
According to a statement of Obaseki, made on Monday October 11, 2021, during a stakeholders’ town hall meeting on a proposed anti-open grazing law for the state.
The governor converged with stakeholders, including traditional rulers, youth groups, religious bodies and civil society organisations, among others, to review the government’s strategies at improving security.
According to PUNCH, Obaseki said, “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.
He included that there is need to understand the motive behind the insecurity issues as some herders were using cattle herding to carry out crime.
Obaseki added that, 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”.
“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,” he said.
The representative of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Edo State chapter, Rev. Oriakhi Davies, was present to make his perspective, said cattle rearing should be a private business and anybody interested should acquire land.
The Chairman, Cattle Dealers Association, Edo State, Alhaji Saad Ahmed, appealed to Edo State Government, said about 45 per cent of cows consumed in Benin were from the North, appealing to the governor to treat everybody equally irrespective of their religion and beliefs.