As part of measures to curb incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers, the Ogun State government has moved to invoke the recently passed anti land-grabbing law and duly compensate all genuine victims of herder/farmer crises across the state, especially from Yewa North Local Government Area where the clashes are rampant.
Speaking with some media outfits after a security meeting held at the instance of Governor Ibikunle Amosun in Abeokuta on Wednesday, Taiwo Adeoluwa, the Secretary to the State Government, disclosed that the law had taken care of the contemporary challenges involving herdsmen and farmers in the state.
Adeoluwa stated that State government would also strengthen its conflict resolution committee, which he said, had achieved more success since it was put in place in 2012, adding that government and security agencies would pay a closer look at the activities of the trans border herders whom he blamed for most of the attacks in the state.
It will be recalled that the State House of Assembly had last year passed the anti-land grabbing law tagged ‘Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Landed Properties Law 2016′ which prescribes 25 years imprisonment for any violator and death sentence in case of lost of lives.
The government also directed village heads in the state to conduct local census and keep record of genuine herders in their community with a view to combating the menace locally.
While lauding the maturity of the locals for not engaging in reprisal attacks, Adeoluwa noted that government was considering the possibility of Boko Haram elements’ involvement in the menace.
Adeoluwa who maintained that all Nigerians are welcome in the state, however emphasized the need for them to follow the laws of the land.
“All Nigerians would be welcome in Ogun State but there are laws and rules that every stakeholder, every visitor, every herdsman, every farmer must comply with.
“The one that is very key in the packs of local laws is what we call the land grabber law, but the correct title is Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Land and other Properties Law.
“The Council also took note that this law already provides for most of the contemporary challenges that confront us today as far as herdsmen, settlers and farmers are concerned.
“Council reaffirmed government determination to continue to fully implement this law which already prohibits forcible entry on lands.
“Council decided that for us in Ogun state, we want everybody from all parts of the country and even outside, but we will continue to insist that our laws be respected and obeyed.
“Our existing conflict resolution committee is a standing committee that has been put in place since 2012 when the crisis first arose and we’ve decided to further strengthen the committee.
“Council looked at the sister issue of Boko Haram because as they are rooting them of that place (North East), they are going to all other areas for refuge and Ogun State is not exempted from the collateral damage of success in the North East,” he said.
RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta