By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
The Ogun State government on Wednesday pledged to strictly implement the recently passed anti land-grabbing law to curtail the menace of herdsmen and farmers clashes in the state.
The most affected area is the Yewa North local government of the state.
The State House of Assembly had, last year, passed the anti-land grabbing law tagged ‘Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Landed Properties Law, 2016′ which prescribes 25 years imprisonment for any violator and death sentence in case of loss of lives.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa who spoke to journalists at the Governor’s Office, Oke – Mosan, Abeokuta after a meeting with the state security chiefs, said the law had taken care of challenges involving herdsmen and farmers.
He assured that the government would also strengthen its conflict resolution committee which, he said, had achieved more success since it was put in place in 2012.
According to him, the government and security agencies would pay a closer look at the activities of the transborder pastoralists whom he blamed for most of the attacks in the state.
The government also directed village heads in the state to conduct local census and keep record of genuine herders in their community with a view to combating the menace.
While commending the villagers for not engaging in reprisal attacks, the SSG said the government was paying attention to the possibility of Boko Haram elements’ involvement in the menace.
He hinted that compensations would be paid to genuine victims from both sides.
Adeoluwa, who maintained that all Nigerians are welcome to the state, emphasised the need for them to follow the laws of the land.
“All Nigerians would be welcome in Ogun State, but there are laws and rules that every stakeholder, every visitor, every herdsman, every farmer must comply with,’’ he said.
“The one that is very key in the packs of local laws is what we call the land grabber law; but the correct title is Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Land and other Properties Law. The council also took note that this law already provides for most of the contemporary challenges that confront us today as far as herdsmen, settlers and farmers are concerned.
“Council reaffirmed government determination to continue to fully implement this law, which already prohibits forcible entry on lands. Council decided that for us in Ogun State, we want everybody from all parts of the country and even outside; but we will continue to insist that our laws be respected and obeyed.
“Our existing conflict resolution committee is a standing committee that has been put in place since 2012 when the crisis first arose and we have decided to further strengthen the committee. Council looked at the sister issue of Boko Haram because as they are routing them from that place (North East) and they are going to all other areas for refuge and Ogun State is not exempted from the collateral damage of success in the North East.”