As part of efforts to stem herdsmen and farmers clashes, the Ogun State Government is set to strengthen its Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Lands and Landed Properties Law, otherwise known as the Anti Land Grabbing Law, as well as give more force to its Conflicts Resolution Committee.
The Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, stated this while briefing newsmen at the end of a Security Council meeting, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Chief Yetunde Onanuga, and attended by heads of security agencies.
Those who attended included the Nigeria Army, Department of State Services, Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Vigilante Service of Ogun State.
It was held at the Governor’s office in Abeokuta.
The SSG, who said that the herdsmen/farmers’ issue has become “real and national”, added that the Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Lands and Landed Properties Law, enacted by the State Government in 2016, has already provided solution to the challenge.
While reiterating that the state is open to every well meaning Nigerian and non Nigerians, willing to either live or do business, Adeoluwa stated government would ensure that such individuals obey the laws and not indulge in any act capable of breaching the peace enjoyed in the state.
He said: “Ogun State is and will remain a unique Nigeria state. We are proudly Nigeria and all Nigerians will be welcome here. But of course, there are laws and rules every stakeholder must comply with.
“The one that is very important is the one known as the Anti Land Grabbing Law, but the correct title is Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Lands and Landed Properties Law.
“Council took note that this law already provides for most of the contemporary challenges that confront us today as far as the issues of herdsmen, farmers and settlers is concerned. And of course, government reaffirms its determination to continue to fully implement this law.
“The law already prohibits forcibly entry upon lands. Council decided this morning that for us in Ogun State, we welcome everybody from across and even beyond, but we will continue to ensure that our laws are respected and obeyed.
“Council also took note of the existing Conflicts Resolution Committee, which is a standing committee, that has been put in place, since year 2012, when the crisis first arose. Government will further strengthen this committee to achieve its goal.”
Adeoluwa disclosed that the old Yewa North Local Government Area is the worst hit by the crisis, adding that traditional rulers and community leaders have also been directed to take census and identify herders in their communities, for proper monitoring of their activities.
The SSG, who noted that the state has recorded significant success in the area of security of lives and property of its residents, advised journalists to be responsible and avoid sensationalism in their reportage of the crisis.
He added: “We are pleased with majority of our media practitioners for the way they have helped even security agencies to do their work, but we urge that you avoid media hype and sensationalism.
“As members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, you have a bigger responsibility to see that there is peace in the land. When you get your stories or information, you have a responsibility to also analysis and present them in a way that will advance social order and protection of the public.”