Ondo govt defends directive to Herdsmen to vacate forest

Ondo govt defends directive to Herdsmen to vacate forest

Thursday, January 21, 2021 7:46 am

Rotimi Akeredolu: Ondo State Governor

Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

The Ondo State government has said its directive to herdsmen to come out of it’s jungle for registration remains, explaining that the order is not a call on Fulani people to leave the State.

The clarification was made by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, in reaction to the Presidency’s position on the matter as given by Garba Shehu, media aide to President Muhammodu Buhari.

Ojogo said his Principal is committed to the protection of lives and properties.

“The Ondo State Government did not ask Fulani to leave the state. The governor said herdsmen who are unregistered should leave our forests.

“The statement from Garba Shehu is a brazen display of emotional attachments and it’s very inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.

“We need clearly defined actions on the part of the Federal Government to decimate the erroneous impression that the inspiration of these criminal elements masquerading as herdsmen is that of power. Our unity is threatened, no doubt.

It (statement) states in a breath that the governor fights crime with passion while it is prevaricating on the atrocities. “The question is, are the herdsmen who are perpetrating murder, kidnapping and robbery more important than government and even the Federal Government in this case?

Ethnic nationality and activism on the part of anyone hiding under the Presidency or federal government is an ill wind,” the commissioner added.

Earlier, Ojogo had declared that there was no going back on the order asking herdsmen to vacate all the forest reserves in the state.

Ojogo had said, “The governor’s directive stands, except they are telling the world that Miyetti Allah is above every law in the land

In the same vein, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matter,  Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, said, “I want to advise those operating within the forest legally to register with the state government. The truth is that if they (herdsmen) still want to remain in the forest; let them come and register, we want to know the people occupying our forest.”

Meanwhile, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural association, Afenifere, faulted the MACBAN’s statement, saying its members must obey the governor’s order.

The Secretary General of the Afenifere,  Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa, pointed out that the governor’s order would go a long way in tackling insecurity in the state

He said,  “The Miyetti Allah should not complain about the order,  unless they want to give the impression that they support the criminal activities being carried out by some herdsmen.

“If they entered into the forest illegally, the government has the right to eject them. It was from the forest that we heard that those that killed the Ifon monarch came from.”

The Olowo of Owoland, Ondo State,  Oba Ajibade Ogunoye, also commended Akeredolu for the order.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Owo monarch,  Mr Sam Adewale,  the traditional ruler said, “ As the Chief Security Officer of the state, the governor cannot fold his arms while the citizens are being kidnapped at will by bandits.”

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