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FG warns against anarchy in Ondo, Oyo herdsmen controversies

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Nigerian government on Monday warned against anarchy in the recent controversies involving the activities of herdsmen in Ondo and Oyo states.

Interior minister Rauf Aregbesola in a statement said all parties involved in the issues should exercise restraint and embrace peaceful dialogue.

He implored all citizens to exercise restraint and pursue active efforts on how to use the tools of constructive dialogue, good neighbourliness and the primacy of peace-building.

The minister, however, warns that “resentment that can only lead to anarchy and a mess of an already difficult situation.”

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Aregbesola said “self-help and lawlessness cannot offer a path to sustainable solution but can only lead to greater pain as well as costly human and material losses and disruption of the already difficult task of devising responses that will produce tangible peace and development in the country.”

Recently, there has been tension in some communities in Ondo and Oyo states over the alleged kidnapping and killing of people by suspected herdsmen.

Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu last week gave a seven-day ultimatum to herdsmen to vacate forests in the state.

The governor said the decision was necessary due to reports of killing of people and destruction of farm produce by the herders. But his order was rebuffed by the Presidency which said herders are free to reside in any part of the country.

Similarly in Oyo State, community residents led by Sunday Adeyemo known as Sunday Igoho ordered herdsmen to vacate the state.

Both issues have led to tension in some parts of both states which Aregbesola described as “regrettable incidences of heightening ethnic and religious tension in our country.”

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The minister said the crisis could “exacerbate security challenges, making the task of development more traumatic.

“The Federal Government is keenly aware and genuinely concerned about these complications that, sadly, have been sharpened by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic through the growth of anxieties about issues life and livelihood in our communities.”

Aregbesola said the government will dialogue with community, security, traditional institutions, religious organizations and youth groups that will bring resolutions to the problem within constitutional and legal frameworks.

“Let us all try to be our brother’s keeper and work towards building a peaceful community that works for all irrespective of ethnicity, religion and other forms of differences,” Aregbesola said.


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