By Godwin Utuedoye, AdvocateNewspaper,
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has said that if urgent steps is not taken to address the incessant attacks by the Fulani herdsmen on farmers, food production may possibly be affected which could lead to famine in the land.
The Governor made this statement at the Govern,sent House Asaba, Delta State when he had his quarterly media interaction with journalists on Wednesday, March 21.
In his words; “The only way we can encourage agriculture in this country, is to first address the unprovoked clashes beteeen herdsmen and farmers in order avoid the loss of farm produce as a result of the present security challenges”.
Enumerating his administration proactive steps towards the Fulani herdsmen menace, the governor noted that he was able to constitute a security committee in all the local government areas in the state to ensure that such clashes does not happen nor escalate to the extent as being witnessed in some states of the federation.
The state governor was however optimistic by saying that the Presidential Committee set up on the herders/farmers issue will yield positive results geared at proffering lasting solution which will aid the federal government making a positive policy that as regard the herders/farmers problem.
On the issue of fulani herdsmen taking over three communities in Ughweru clan in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state, and asking indigenes to pay money before assessing their farms, the governor said; it is absurd and will never be tolerated, but noted that security operatives are presently on it and assured that all possible diplomacy will be taken to avoid clashes and loss of life.
On the issue of tractors being hired to farmers at exorbitant cost, the Governor expressed joy that most Deltans were into farming, noting that farmers’ co-operative societies took charge of the hiring of tractors, but promised that more would be procured to cater for those who could not access tractors being run by the co-operative societies.
Fielding question from Journalists on the taking over of land belonging to Umutu community by the Edo State government, Governor Okowa stated that the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice has been directed to liaise with Umutu community because, the issue was before the court.
Governor Okowa further thanked Deltans for their peaceful dispositions which has ensured effective take off of the multi-billion naira Premium Steel Rolling Mill, formerly, Delta Steel Company, Aladja. He attributed the performance of the ground-breaking ceremony for the take-off of companies in the state and the flooding of the state by investors to the peaceful atmosphere in the state.
Reacting to a question on “Yahoo Boys” using security operatives as escorts, the governor said he has not really take note of that but promised to do something about it as it does not speak good of the government and even the security agents. He said the issue will also be looked during his Security Council meeting in order to put a stop to the menace of this guys.
On the federal medical centre project at Asaba, the state governor promised that the contractor will complete the project in no distant time as work is in progress.