Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki says his administration adopted more consultation approaches with critical Stakeholders to sieve out bandits from the genuine herders to avoid creating more tensions after signing the proposed Anti open grazing Law in the state.

Obaseki who was speaking, Monday, at a Stakeholder’s Town Hall Meeting over delays in signing the Proposed Anti-Open Grazing Law, In Benin City, said a draft copy of the bill would be made available to the State legislative arm for considerations before the end of October 2021.

While feeding questions from the large crowd that besieged the venue of the meeting, Governor Obaseki noted that, people must not be made to believe that the fight is between the north and South.

He assured that, the decision to call Critical Stakeholders was to look at some fundamental areas for discuss between government and the people, in ensuring that everyone has an input without creating sentiment before the bill is passed.

Obaseki said, he is not willing to rely on unbridled arguments emanating from a fraction of the society, according to him, who are not ready to accommodate others to force him to make biased decisions.

According to Obaseki, “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.

Let us not play politics with this issue; let us deal with it honestly and openly. There are security implications because some people have now joined and are using these herders to perpetuate insecurity. We need to Separate the issue. It’s not about the South against the North.

“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.

“There are people who are doing their legitimate business of herding cattle and producing meat, and there are criminals who want to destabilize our country and state.”

On their parts, Chairmen, Cattle Dealers Association, Edo State, Alhaji Saad Ahmed,and his, Cattle Breeders Association Edo State, Counterpart, Alhaji Mohammed Fosal explained that about forty-five percent of cows consumed in Benin comes directly from the North while both exonerated indigenous Funali ethnic group in the State from Series of reported crimes.

The Chairmen agreed that nomandic Fulanis from Kogi, Abuja are responsible for crimes in the State not the indigenous settlers.

For the Representative of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, Edo State Chapter, Rev. Oriakhi Davies, and the Chief Imam of Benin Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdulfatai Enabulele said cattle rearing is a private business and anybody interested in the business should acquire land for such business. They advocated for the registration of nomadic herdsmen and Cattle breeders.

Stakeholders at the event were drawn from different walks of life, including traditional rulers, youth groups, religious bodies and Civil Society Organisations CSOs, among others.

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