Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, has placed a 90-day ban on grazing in Odighi, and Odiguetue communities in Ovia north-east local government council of the state.
He made this announcement at a meeting with members of Odighi, Owan and Odigwuetue communities at the palace of the Enogie of Odighi community on Sunday.
Obaseki said the ban became necessary to stop further killings as the duty of his administration is committed to protecting lives and property.
“We have set up a special task force made up of the army, police, state security service, hunters and vigilante groups to comb the bushes and dislodge squatter camps of killer herdsmen and ensure no grazing takes place in Odighi, Odiguetue communities and environs,” he said.
He added that within two weeks, the task force would go round the affected communities to get information that will help dislodge the “criminals who pose as herdsmen”.
“Before now Fulani herdsmen were known for carrying sticks around to control their cattle, today some of them have become criminals,” he said,
He said there is need to separate herdsmen from cattle rustlers who steal cattle, invade farms, rape and kill people.
A resident of Odighi community, Uyiosa Okundia, said the people lived together peacefully with herdsmen until they started invading their farms with their cattle and eating their crops, committing attrocities.
Ebohon Pius from Odigwuetue community said the only source of water in the community has been taken over by herdsmen as they now buy water and food to feed their family because they cannot farm anymore.
“We now have kidnappers, robbers and criminals in our community who operate under the cover of herdsmen.” he said.