Following some incidences of kidnapping and banditry allegedly perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen in the state, Osun State governor, Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola, has reaffirmed the determination and commitment of his administration to strengthen peace between herdsmen and the people of the state to forestall kidnapping and banditry in the state.
It would be recalled that Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Yinka Adegbehingbe who was kidnapped on Sunday while returning from the university along Ibadan-Ile Ife Expressway disclosed that it was Fulani herdsmen that perpetrated the dastardly act.
Adegbenhinde stated that the herdsmen were armed with sophisticated weapons and collected a sum of N5,045 million before he could secure his release from his abductors.
But Oyetola at a meeting leadership of the Osun State Cow Dealers Association; Members of the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and the leadership of the Fulani/Bororo in his office on Tuesday said his government would continue to maintain and sustain the atmosphere of relative peace and harmonious relationship between the herdsmen and farmers.
Oyetola maintained that the government would continue to intensify efforts to strengthen the existing bond among the relevant authorities in order to forestall kidnapping and banditry.
The governor, who described peace as a necessity, said the state under his watch would do everything to enhance peaceful coexistence among the people.
Oyetola implored the leadership of the Fulanis/herders to keep ‘eagle eye’ on the illegal influx of people into the state and report strange movement to the security agencies.
Oyetola stressed the need for proper data collection and registration of herders living in the state, saying the initiative would help to reflect true demographic composition and aid to know, identify, assess and evaluate the number of non-citizens living in the state.
Governor Oyetola maintained that the registration would enhance the security agencies to know and separate genuine immigrants from illegitimate ones whenever there is discovery of misconduct.
He said, “I am happy that peace has been continuously reigning in this state most especially between farmers, cow dealers and herders.
“This is an output of our administration’s commitment to ensure adequate security and guarantee the welfare of the citizenry.
“As a government, the maintenance of law and order as well as the general welfare of the people has been taken as priority since we assumed office.
“We are doing everything to prevent illegal influx of people to our state as we request the cooperation of all and sundry to stamp out all forms of illegality in our state.
“It is our belief that this initiative would help to know who and who are living in the state and take control of any strange happening.”
The Chairman, Osun State Cow Dealers Association, Alhaji Garba Usman, commended the administration of Governor Oyetola for taking security of lives and property as its priority.
He expressed the readiness of members of the association to support the government in maintaining peace, law and order.