Edo govt clarifies Obaseki’s position on creation of grazing land for herdsmen

By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Edo state government has raised the alarm over alleged plans by some political actors to instigate the type of killings witnessed in some states in the country, just because they are embittered by the heavy loss they suffered in the political space.
This is even as the government said the state would not cede any part of its land for grazing, saying the issue of grazing is an economic venture.
The Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, raised the alarm in a statement on Thursday.
He condemned in strong terms, what he described as futile effort to cause mayhem among the people.
He said: “We condemn, in the strongest terms, the current futile efforts by these defeated politicians in the state to cause mayhem and chaos among our people.
“Thankfully, their plans have failed because of the pre-emptive actions taken by Governor Obaseki and the security agencies.
“All peace-loving people of Edo State are enjoined to dedicate this Lenten period to pray for peace at this difficult time in the life of our dear country.”
Commenting on the issue of creating grazing areas in parts of the state, to resolve herders/farmers clash, the Ogie insisted that the government has no plan to cede any part if the state for grazing cattle.
Obaseki while on a fact-finding meeting, at Udo, in Ovia north-east local government area of the state last week, was quoted to have said that the government would create grazing areas, to  clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
According to the Governor, “We will create an area where the cattle will go regularly to eat, as they must not go to peoples’ farms. This will stop cattle from moving round the community including in farmlands.”
But in a statement on Thursday, in what appears like a self-reversal, the Secretary to the State Government, said that the government’s position on the matter is clear and has not shifted since it insisted that it would not cede its land to herdsmen.
According to him, “Our attention has been drawn to misleading and false media reports claiming that the Edo state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has agreed to provide grazing land for herders in the state.
“Our position on the matter of grazing land is clear and has not shifted, which is that there is no free land for grazing in Edo state.
“Grazing is an economic activity just like poultry and piggery or any other agricultural enterprise. The Edo state government will not cede any land in the state for grazing.
“The governor has continually warned against the politicizing of security issues,” he added.