A sociocultural group, Esan Okpa Initiative (EOI), in Edo State, has urged Governor Godwin Obaseki to enact the State Anti-Open Grazing Law with a view to checking the seemingly uncontrollable banditry in Edo State.
The group’s president, Barr Matthew Egbadon, made the call in Benin at the weekend while addressing journalists on the security challenges and other issues in the state.
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He said the call became necessary in view of the spate of kidnappings on the Benin-Auchi road and Edo central senatorial district of the state.
“The protracted kidnappings, ransom taking, killing and raping of our women had made farmers to abandon their farms.
“The bandits have laid siege to all farmlands and major roads in Esanland. The consequence of this would be famine because our people have abandoned their farms for fear of being killed or raped.
“The helpless situation of our people in Esanland, in the face of coordinated attacks and abductions, is of great concern to us,” he said.
According to him, beyond the enactment of the anti-grazing law, the government should also clear the bushes on both sides of the road between Benin City and Ekpoma, to ensure that the bandits and kidnappers do not have a hiding place, from where they launch attacks on unsuspecting road users.
The group also advised that armed herders should be given a timeline within which they must exit the forests and farmlands in Edo State or else be forced out.