Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State took a significant step ,at the weekend, by reconstituting the state’s Farmers/Herders Peace Committee.
During the committee’s inauguration at the Governor’s Office in Ado Ekiti, Oyebanji emphasized the positive impact of this initiative on the agricultural sector, leading to transformation and improved food security in the state.
He also highlighted that Ekiti State is the first in the southwest geo-political zone to establish an effective conflict resolution mechanism in this regard.
He further stated that as part of their efforts to enhance the economy and generate job opportunities, the state government has successfully attracted private investors to invest in the agricultural sub-sector. Hence, there is a requirement to reorganize the committee in order to establish an environment that is favorable for business and to realign it towards a more specific direction.
He praised the efforts of the disbanded committee for successfully maintaining a state of peace and harmony between farmers and herders. He acknowledged Ekiti State’s exemplary leadership in addressing the ongoing conflict between farmers and herders.
“We also had to deal with kidnappings, many of which herders were suspected or indeed arrested as culprits. This trend has to be reversed so as not to create an atmosphere of chaos, vengeance, retribution and lawlessness; hence, the need to reconstitute this committee in order to reposition it for a more defined direction in response to the urgent reality of today.
“For fairness and equity, all interested stakeholders are included in the committee, including cattle breeders, herdsmen, farmers, security outfits, drivers’ unions, market women, traditional rulers, youths and others.
“It is our responsibility to sustain the confidence of our Agricultural business owners and other stakeholders that their investments are secured in Ekiti.
“Let me assure all the citizens that the committee, which is headed by the special Adviser on Security Matters, Retired Brigadier General Ebenezer Ogundana and other eminent personalities, will be just and proactive in their conflict resolution assignments,” he said.
He guarantees that Amotekun and the anti-grazing corps in the state will receive additional support to enhance their collaboration and effectiveness with other security outfits, particularly in rural areas.
To ensure fairness and equity, the committee consists of representatives from all relevant stakeholders, including cattle breeders, herdsmen, farmers, security outfits, drivers unions, market women, traditional rulers, and youths.