“It’s not Fulani Herdsmen, but foreigners, that are raping and killing farmers – Governor Obaseki says. “You lied, Obaseki.” Nigeria Immigration Service replies.

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By Tony Osas Okungbowa

The governor and chief security officer of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has debunked the claim by Ewu, Irrua and Ekpoma people that Fulani Herdsmen raped and killed their women farmers in the bush.

A woman killed by Fulani Herdsmen at Ewu

This is despite abundant evidence, including his visit to Ewu after the gruesome rape and murder of two Ewu farmers in their farms and his deputy’s visit to Ekpoma during the week after the repeated murder of farmers in the bush by Fulani Herdsmen.

In both cases, the residents of both cities went on rampage demonstrating their anger towards the menace of the marauding Fulani Herdsmen.

In a rather shocking statement by the Edo governor, Obaseki absolved the Fulani Herdsmen of any wrong doing, infering that the residents of those named places, and indeed elsewhere in Edo State where the same menace occur, are being mischievous claiming those crimes are committed by Fulani Herdsmen whereas, according to him, they are committed by foreigners. But he failed to name the identities of the so-called foreigners nor did he tell us whether he was speaking based on any valid security report.

One of two Ewu women killed by Fulani herdsmen in Ewu

“No true Fulani herdsman would abandon his cattle and take to killing of innocent farmers; rather the recent cases of rape and murder were perpetrated by foreign elements bent on causing conflict.” Godwin Obaseki said.

On the other hand, the Nigeria Immigration Service had debunked Obaseki’s claim since 2016 when their Spokesperson said there is no proof that Fulani Herdsmen wrecking havoc in Nigeria are foreigners.

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has said there is no evidence that the herdsmen wreaking havoc and killing farmers and villagers across the country are foreigners.

According to The NIS Public Relations Officer, Ekpedeme King, he said, “There is no evidence that the herdsmen are foreigners.”

He added that “We are at the borders and we have not seen any herdsman coming into the country. We have our men at the borders and they are doing their job. So far, what we have heard is speculation that they are from foreign countries, but no one has profiled them to know their identities…”

A lot of Edo people from all the districts of Edo State have been reacting to the less than diplomatic comment credited to Obaseki.

Mr Ehimen Abuya, an Ewu youth shot by the military for daring to protest the killing of their women

Barr D.A.N Osa-Ogbegie, a fiery lawyer and civil rights activist in Benin, described Obaseki’s statesman as thoughtless because it was not based on any security or investigation report.

“No true Edo born Governor, truly elected by Edo people, would make this thoughtless remark that exonerates a notoriously violent set of people, even without any official investigation by him. This is what you get when a hireling is in charge of the sheep”. Osa-Ogbegie said.

On his part, forner Student Unionist and civil rights activist, Engr Mike Enahoro said for making such statement, the Edo state governor is ” under evil forces”.

Ekpoma people protesting the murder of an indigene by Fulani Herdsmen

“Godwin Obaseki is under evil forces. I can authoritatively inform today that, he’s under the remote control planted by Adams Oshiomhole undergoing watering by Philip Shaibu. We must pray that, God protect our society from this mess that have befallen Edo people.” Enahoro said.

The Secretary General of Centre for Patriotic Leadership Initiative (CPLI), Saintmoses Eromosele, described Obaseki’s statement as “hasty and without salt” and advised the governor not to “play to the galery hoping to curry the favour of the Arewa Oligarchy.

Mr Osikhena Abu, an APC member said “Obaseki goofed here. He goofed big time. This statement is not gubernatorial. He should focus more on governance and hire a spokesman since it appears he is not a very good talker”.

More reactions have been pouring from across Edo State and we shall publish more as they come.




(Reporter of the Year 2016)

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