Edo PDP ac­cuses Obaseki of post­pon­ing the evil day

The Punch - - NEWS - Alexan­der Okere, Benin

The Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party on Mon­day faulted the 90-day ban on graz­ing in some com­mu­ni­ties in edo State by Gover­nor God­win Obaseki, de­scrib­ing it as in­suf­fi­cient to ad­dress the chal­lenges posed by armed men.

Obaseki on Sun­day banned herds­men from op­er­at­ing in Odighi, Odiguetue, Owan com­mu­ni­ties and their en­vi­rons in the Ovia North­east Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of the state as part of the mea­sures to pre­vent at­tacks on farm­ers and other res­i­dents.

The gover­nor also set up a spe­cial task force made up of se­cu­rity agen­cies to dis­lodge crim­i­nals pos­ing as herds­men in the com­mu­ni­ties.

But the PDP noted that while the gover­nor’s ac­tion had vin­di­cated the op­po­si­tion party’s call for an out­right ban on open graz­ing, he (Obaseki) had only suc­ceeded in “post­pon­ing the evil day.”

The State Pub­lic­ity Sec­re­tary, Chris Ne­hikhare, who spoke to our cor­re­spon­dent on the tele­phone, said, “This one (90-day ban) is not enough; it is just post­pon­ing the evil day. This de­ci­sion is par­tially in tan­dem with our po­si­tion (on anti-open graz­ing).

“But as usual, Gover­nor Obaseki has not gone far enough. If Obaseki gov­ern­ment’s po­si­tion is to adopt and grad­u­ally em­brace the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the PDP’S pro­posed law, it should ap­ply it to the en­tire state. Why leave out ekpoma, ewu, Ug­boha, Ubi­aja, Lam­pese, ekperi, Oben and sev­eral other com­mu­ni­ties in the state that have suf­fered the herds­men at­tack?

“We ap­plaud gov­ern­ment’s ad­mis­sion that it is their re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect lives and prop­erty. Un­for­tu­nately, they have failed woe­fully to dis­charge this con­sti­tu­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity to the peo­ple, de­spite the over N400m se­cu­rity votes de­ducted monthly.”

The PDP fur­ther ar­gued that noth­ing short of an out­right ban on graz­ing and the pass­ing into law of the anti-open graz­ing bill it sent to the house of Assem­bly would be “ef­fec­tive enough to curb the in­ces­sant killings and maim­ing of in­no­cent edo peo­ple by the ma­raud­ing herds­men.”

In a state­ment signed by Ne­hikhare, the party said, “Our pro­posed bill will pre­vent the de­struc­tion of farms and farm pro­duce as well as pro­tect lives and prop­erty of farm­ers, their wives and chil­dren by open graz­ing. The law will also pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment from degra­da­tion and pol­lu­tion caused by open rear­ing and graz­ing of live­stock.

“It will also op­ti­mise the use of land re­sources in the face of over­stretched land and in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion as well as main­tain a healthy food se­cu­rity ar­range­ment. The law would en­cour­age the es­tab­lish­ment of ranches, with the per­mis­sion and ap­proval of the state gov­ern­ment.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.