Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has announced that all criminal herdsmen hiding in the forests of Edo State will be flushed out.
The Governor gave the assurance on Wednesday when he led heads of security agencies in the state on a fact-finding tour and commiserative visit to Ugo community, Orhionmwon Local Government Area of the state where some criminal herdsmen killed some locals recently.
The Governor noted that any herder or other forms of business people not ready to be peaceful and abide by guidelines will be evicted from the state.
Obaseki while commiserating with those who lost loves ones during the attack on the community by herdsmen, disclosed that plans have been concluded to launch an operation to comb forests in the state for killer herdsmen.
He added that while the lives of dead ones can’t be restored, his government is committed to ensuring such happenings don’t occur again.
He said: “I am here with the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Philip Agbadu, and other heads of security agencies in the state to commiserate with you. This is to tell you how serious we take what has happened in Ugo. We are here first to commiserate with you and to let you know that we feel your pains and that as a government we are very concerned and worried.”
“The principal role of any government is to protect the lives and property of citizens. We are here to find out for ourselves what actually happened and to make certain decisions.”
“I know this is not the first time it has happened, but we want to make sure that this sort of thing does not happen again in this community. I want to thank you for being law-abiding citizens and not taking laws into your hands.”
While assuring that those that want to do legitimate business are welcome in Edo State, Obaseki warned that those not ready to abide by laws and regulations are not welcome while elements currently hiding in the Edo State forests to launch violence on peaceful communities will all be chased out.
“I want to assure you that an operation will be carried out. I am very happy with the number of vigilantes I see in the community, which means that you have enough information. We are not against the presence of anybody who wants to come and do business here.
“Whether they want to come and herd their cattle or they want to do other business here, you are not against them. You are only saying that, if they want to come and graze, they must do it legally and lawfully.”
“We are going to embark on an operation through which we will vacate anybody who is not supposed to be in the forest. Good enough, there is information about their location; they cannot be more armed than the military.
“We cannot bring back the lives of those we have lost. All we can do is to make sure that we do not lose many more lives. We will support the LGA Chairman, Sylvester Okoro, to help and support the families of those we have lost.
“Rest assured that the heads of security agencies you see here all have a track record. They are senior officers with experience that will help us secure our state. We will deal with the security situation; we will fish out those criminals. We don’t want to join issues with all those who are taking advantage of the unfortunate situation on the internet, as they are posting all sorts of fake and false information.
“They have their own plans for Nigeria while we have our own plans for Nigeria. Our plan is to make Nigeria strong and a great country. The Commissioner of Police has taken note. This area is an Area Command and it will be so manned,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has debunked trending rumours that Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka was recently attacked in his house by some Fulani herdsmen.
The spokesperson of the command, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi in a statement on Wednesday evening issued on behalf of the Commissioner of Police in Ogun State, Edward Awolowo Ajogun told members of the public that Soyinka was not attacked.
The statement confirmed that there was an encounter between Soyinka and a herdsman but denied any form of attack on the Professor.