Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said the root cause of the violence perpetrated by some herdsmen must be identified before the enforcement of the anti-open grazing law.
Naija News reports that he stated this on Monday while speaking at a stakeholders’ town hall meeting on a proposed anti-open grazing law for the state.
According to a statement, the governor met with stakeholders, including traditional rulers, youth groups, religious bodies and civil society organisations, among others, to review the government’s strategies at improving security.
Obaseki said he is yet to enforce the law because the root causes of farmer-herders crises is yet to be identified.
“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 said.
“We have a crisis in our country, it is deeply rooted; there are different causes. Let us go to the root of the causes and resolve it from there. People have said that we have lived a hundred years together in harmony before now. Why are we having these problems today?”
Speaking further, Obaseki said there is a need to understand why some individuals are using cattle herding to perpetrate crime in the state.
He pointed out that the anti-open grazing law is not a battle against Christians and Muslims, North and South or Edo and Fulani People.
Obaseki said: “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.”