In order to find forster peaceful co-existence among the various ethnic nationalities resident in Ekiti state, Governor Kayode Fayemi has inaugurated a peace committee tagged Ekiti State Farmers-Herders Peace Committee in Ado Ekiti.
Performing the inauguration at the conference hall of his office, the governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi charged members of the committee to work closely with various communities, traditional rulers and security agencies to ensure that Farmers-Herders clashes become things of the past in the state.
The governor, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Security Matters, Brig. Gen. Ebenezer Ogundana (Rtd) reminded the gathering of the resolution reached at its maiden meeting late November 2020, where members of the committee were nominated for his approval.
Dr. Fayemi said that, the committee must live to expectation at establishing all year round peace among the inhabitants of the state, particularly, in the rural areas.
He said further that herdsmen in Ekiti state would register with the state Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and issued with means of identification to separate genuine herders from criminal elements.
The governor stressed further that the activities of the peace committee would be coordinated by the Department of Animal Husbandry, ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, and the Agricultural Development Programme, while the committee was saddled with the responsibility of appointing leaders of the herdsmen in various communities of their residence.
According to the governor, these leaders would be held responsible in case of any break down of law and order in such community.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Olabode Adetoyi said that the purpose of the gathering was primarily to inaugurate the committee earlier constituted in a similar meeting of stakeholders held in November 2020, to promote peaceful co-existence and safety of lives and investments of people of the state.
In his comment, the Chairman of the state Council of Traditional Rulers, Oba Ajibade Alabi, who was represented by the Onisan of Isan Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Adejuwon commended the proactive step being taken by the governor at putting up effective mechanism that would end criminality among some notorious migrating herdsmen in the state.
Oba Alabi charged members of the committee and others responsible for the registration to discharge their duties according to the laid down guidelines, adding that the committee should extend its services to the middle of the night when most of the crimes perpetrated on the farms were carried out.
In his own remarks, the Director General, Office of Transformation and Strategical to Development, OTSD, Prof Bolaji Aluko called on all participants at the meeting to go back home and sensitize members of their communities the importance of the new policy to their existence and overall development.
Prof Aluko added that the policy was not to criminalize any ethnic group but to distinguish criminal elements from sincere heders residing in the state.
The Chairman of the committee is the S.A. on Security Matters, Brg. Gen. Ebenezer Ogundana and co-chaired by D.G. Transformation, Prof Bolaji Aluko, Serkin Fulani, Alh. Abashe Adamu and Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Ekiti State, Alh. Muhammadu Nasamu.
Other members are the state Commandant of Amotekun Corps, Brig. Gen. Joe Komolafe, Senior Special Assistant on Citizens Engagement, Mr Josemaria Adeusi, Special Assistants on Igbo,Hausa and Ebira Affairs, Chairman, Drivers Union, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Presidents, National Youths Council of Nigeria, Youth in Commercial Agriculture Development, representatives of farmers in the forest reserves, market women, Chairman Cattle Dealers, Director, Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and a Director from the Agricultural Development Programme.