By Joy Odigie
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo said the government would set up a database of northerners resident in the state in order to tackle the rampant cases of attacks on farmers by herdsmen.
Mr John Mayaki, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, said in a statement on Friday in Benin that the initiative would allow for easy identification of strange characters within their settlements.
According to the statement, Obaseki made his intention known to members of the Arewa Community in the state after hosting them to iftar ( the traditional breaking of Ramadan fast) at Government House, Benin on Thursday night.
The governor admonished members of the Arewa Community in the state to embrace the diversity which exists in Nigeria and forge a united bond.
He asserted that no true Fulani herdsman would abandon his cattle and take to killing of innocent farmers.
The governor said that the recent cases of rape and murder were perpetrated by foreign elements bent on causing conflict.
” To checkmate the ugly trend, a committee will be set up to carry out community by community delineation of northern settlers across the state to help identify new comers and their aim”, Obaseki said.
Obaseki said that fenced grazing areas with watering facilities would be clearly defined by government for herdsmen to feed their cattle with payment of economic fees for services rendered.
The governor assured them of fair treatment in spite of religious differences, acknowledging that intermarriage has made them stakeholders in Edo.
Earlier in his remarks, the President of Arewa Community in Edo, Alhaji Umar , commended the governor for breaking fast with them.
He stated that members of the Arewa community were unhappy with the recent attacks as it was giving them a bad name.
Umar said that the community would support the state government in identifying and dealing with bad elements amongst the herdsmen.
It would be recalled that suspected herdsmen had on May 22, killed two women in their farms in Ewu community, in Esan Central Local Government area of the state.
Also earlier in the week, another killing was recoded in Ekpoma , Esan West Local Government Area. .(NAN)