Ogheghe Clash: Obaseki Reinforces Ban on Night Grazing, Orders Closure of Illegal Cattle Markets in Edo

*Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki,  during a  meeting with security chiefs, leaders of Arewa community and Ogheghe community, at Government House, in Benin City, on Wednesday, February 24, 2021

 *Insists strict enforcement of ban on motorcycles in Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba Okha

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has reiterated the ban on night-grazing of cattles across the state between 6pm and 6am daily.

The governor also ordered the immediate closure of all illegal cattle markets across the state, urging landlords not to allow their property to be used as an illegal market for sales of cattle.

Obaseki gave the order in Benin City during a meeting with members of Arewa Community, security agencies and members of Ogheghe Community in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the state, on ways to resolve the recent clash in the region.

The governor said his administration has realized that there are still illegal cattle markets operating across LGAs in the state, noting that it may have been responsible for the clash witnessed recently in Ogheghe Community.

Obaseki noted, “We realised that several illegal cattle markets are still in operation in the state. All illegal cattle markets in Edo state must be closed immediately. Local governments are to submit all approved legal cattle markets and Landlords are warned never to allow their premises to be used for sales of cattle unless such premises have been approved. If not, the affected cattles will be confiscated.”

Governor Obaseki expressed worry that the peace mechanism put in place some years ago by his administration was not working as expected, ordering that the Peace Committee be reconstituted and names of members submitted to his office before 1st of March 2021.

“The Peace Committee (Arewa Community, Local governments and traditional institutions in the local government) set up two years ago are not working effectively as they should. The committee must be reconstituted immediately and the list of members of the committee from every Local Government should be submitted to me before 1st of March 2021. Meeting schedule will be made available. Monthly report of the situation from each Local Government must reach me.

“The purpose of the committee is to give the Arewa leadership in the local governments the authority to register all members of the Arewa Community to enable us to know those operating in each community across LGAs.”

Obaseki said his administration is re-enforcing the ban on night grazing in Edo State, noting that any cattle seen outside their location between the hours of 6pm and 6am in the state will be confiscated and the owners prosecuted.

On the return of motorcycles in prohibited areas in the State, Obaseki ordered security agencies to re-enforce the ban on the operation of motorcycles in the State, adding, “With immediate effect, law enforcement agencies should arrest and confiscate any motorcycle caught in prohibited areas.”

The governor also thanked the security agencies for their tireless efforts in restoring peace to the troubled Ogheghe Community, adding, “We appreciate the Enogie and the people of Ogheghe Community for their cooperation in ensuring peace in their Community”.

Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, noted: “I want to encourage us to live in peace. Motorcycles will not be allowed in the town again to ensure crime rate is kept low.

“If you see any strange faces in your community, please report it to the nearest police station. Report any form of crime and don’t take laws into your hands. Edo is a peaceful state and I encourage all to live in peace.”

The leader of the Arewa Community, Alhaji Badamasi Saleh and the Enogie of Ogheghe, HRH Ogbonmwan Michael, hailed the governor for his prompt response in restoring peace in the affected community.