Edo govt asks traditional rulers to flush out erring herdsmen from forests - OPID News

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Monday, 11 July 2022

Edo govt asks traditional rulers to flush out erring herdsmen from forests

Edo govt asks traditional rulers to flush out erring herdsmen from forests

Philip Shaibu

Philip Shuaibu, the Acting Governor has asked traditional rulers to use local hunters and vigilantes to flush out criminal herdsmen from all forests of the state.

Shuaibu gave the directive in reaction to growing incident of kidnapping in the state.

Edo has recorded series of kidnapping incidents in recent times, including abduction of Catholic priests.

A priest of St Michael Catholic church, lkhabigbo, Etsako West Local Government area of Edo State, Rev Father Christopher Odia, was abducted and killed on June 26, 2022.

The directive to flush out the criminal herdsmen was contained in a communiques issued at the end of an emergency security meeting with traditional rulers, opinion leaders and security agencies in Benin City by the acting Edo Governor.

Towards this end, the government directed heads of the 18 local government councils in Edo state to ensure the provision of monthly stipends and other requisite resources for the vigilante and hunters to enable them to carry out the assignment of flushing the herdsmen from the forests.

It also warned that traditional rules would be held accountable for acts of terrorism and kidnapping in their domains.

“That everybody currently residing in any forest in Edo State in the guise of camping should vacate such areas with immediate effect.

“The acting Governor has mandated all acting LGC heads to use all the security apparatus including the police, army, Vigilante groups, hunters and others to forcibly remove any groups or individuals within the next ten days.

“That henceforth, any traditional ruler and village head who have collected money from any herdsmen therefore permitting any form of camping or grazing in any Edo State forest should refund such money and ask the herdsmen to leave with immediate effect.

“The resolution also said that after ten days from the day of the meeting, traditional rulers would be held responsible for kidnappings in their areas.”

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