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Nigeria governors pledge to compensate victims, rebuild properties ruined in herder-farmer crises

...Ogun fights insecurity with waivers on cellular networks at Nigeria-benin borders ...Influx of cattle, killer herders from foreign lands to be checked ...Kwara directs residents to accommodate displaced Fulani herders

Having considered losses of lives and properties in Southwest states of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, among other states, where crises between Fulani herders and local farmers crises were rife recently, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has pledged to rebuild the ruined properties and compensate victims of the crises that took place differently at various states in the region.

Recall that there crises which broke out differently at various states in Southwest Nigeria, including Oyo, Ogun and Ondo between Fulani herders, who were accused of various crimes against residents and farmers of the Southwest states, prompting bloody retaliation in some states, eviction order in some states and counter attacks in some others.

Consequently, some governor-members of the NGF, mostly of Northern extractions, embarked on peace moves and visitations to Oyo and Ogun states this week where the governors pledged to rebuild the properties touched during crises and compensate victims of attacks, saying both Fulani herdsmen, farmers and residents must sheate swords to allow lasting solutions to the incessant crises.

In Ibadan, Oyo state capital, the governors, through Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, who led the delegation of governors from NGF on a tour to the troubled spot, promised to help rebuild the Sasa Market, Ibadan, which was burnt down in the wake of the crisis that engulfed the market last week

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Bagudu, who was joined by his colleagues from Zamfara, Kano, and Niger States, said that the city of Ibadan is calm, contrary to the pictures being circulated on social media, just as he lauded the Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde for what he had done so far in restoring peace and normalcy to the community.

Bagudu said: “We in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum are going to support. As a matter of fact, we have given a token to those who are already displaced, and we will meet at a wider table on Wednesday and can assure that more support will be mobilised.”

Governor Makinde, who led Governors Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi; Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Kano; Bello Muhammad Matawalle, Zamfara; and Abubakar Sanni Bello, Niger, to Sasa community, said that his government would continue to look for avenues to restore peaceful co-existence.

In Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state where Governor Dapo Abiodun received Governors Bello Muhammed Matawalle, Zamfara; Rotimi Akeredolu, Ondo; Abubakar Bagudu, Kebbi; Umar Ganduje, Kano and Abubakar Sani-Bello, Niger to the Stakeholders parley on Farmer-herder Conflict organised by Ogun State Government, having recorded crisis in Ogun West Senatorial District of the state, the governors appealed to residents and farmers alike to sheate swords and allow peace to reign, just as they asked Fulani herdsmen to fish out criminals among them.

Meanwhile, Governor Dapo Abiodun has said that the State Government had given waivers to two Nigeria telecom operators to erect phone masts and towers, and run cellular networks at the Nigeria-republic of Benin borders in order to monitor the influx of herds of cattle and criminals into the country.

The governor said that the waivers to the telecoms became imperative considering the porous security situation at the border posts where an influx of cattle and criminals into the country through Ogun end of Nigeria-republic of Benin borders is rampant and dangerous to peaceful human co-existence, saying if cellular networks were connected in the troubled areas it would be difficult for anybody to commit crimes there and get away with.

He said, “If ECOWAS Protocols allow West Africans to move freely among all the countries within the region, the Protocols don’t allow animals and criminals to move freely. We have therefore in Ogun State given quick waivers to two telecom operators to build masts and towers in those areas so that we can have cellular networks in those areas and monitor the influx of not only the cattle but also the criminals into the country through our borders.

“When I was going there yesterday my phone was roaming into Benin Republic and I said, wait a minute, where in Nigeria and not in Benin Republic. That is how bad the place is. So, if people were attacked in those areas, how would there call for help? We are going to get cellular networks for better living.”

Kwara State Government has requested residents of the State not to discriminate against the displaced Fulani herders from neighbouring states but should accommodate them in their midst, just as it cautioned residents against xenophobic attacks on displaced persons, calling however for calm while Government works with all stakeholders to maintain law and order.

Speaking on the perceived discrimination by some Kwara residents against the displaced Fulani herdsmen, Saba Mamman Jibril, Secretary to the State Government, said in a press statement that Kwara State is known for peace, harmony, and hospitality to one another and all sojourners among them.

He added, “Whatever the challenges at this time, we will not accept xenophobic violence or hate speeches that might ignite it.

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