The Acting Governor of Edo State State, Philip Shuaibu, has ordered the flushing out of criminal herdsmen from the state’s forests.

The directive is coming in the face of rising insecurity in the country and particularly in most parts of the state.

Traditional rulers were ordered to liaise with local hunters and vigilante groups to ensure the task was carried out

A Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Christopher Odia, was kidnapped and murdered on June 26 by those suspected to be herdsmen at Ikhabigbo, in Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.

The Acting Governor also directed heads of the eighteen local government councils in the state to ensure the provision of monthly stipends and other requisite resources for the vigilante and hunters to enable them to carry out the assignment of flushing the herdsmen from the forests.

The Government warned that traditional rulers would be held accountable for such acts of terrorism and kidnapping in their domains.

“That everybody currently residing in any forest in Edo State in the guise of camping should vacate such areas with immediate effect,” a statement by the state governmwnt said.

“The acting Governor has mandated all acting LGC heads to use all the security apparatus including the police, army, Vigilante groups, hunters and others to forcibly remove any groups or individuals within the next ten days.

“That henceforth, any traditional ruler and village head who have collected money from any herdsmen therefore permitting any form of camping or grazing in any Edo State forest should refund such money and ask the herdsmen to leave with immediate effect.

“The resolution also said that after ten days from the day of the meeting, traditional rulers would be held responsible for kidnappings in their areas.”

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