The traditional rulers, who reacted over the comments made by some aides of the President on the order of Akeredolu ejecting the herdsmen from all the forest reserves in the state, said the move was not to chase out the Fulani in the state but to save it from the activities of the bandits.
The monarchs said, “We are calling on President Buhari to show to the world that he is a father of all irrespective of ethnic affiliation as well as cautioned his aides to exercise restraints on issues that border on insecurity in the country.”
The obas urged “the governors in the South-West region, the South-West caucus in the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly to use constitutional means to rein the rampaging criminals masquerading as herdsmen across the region.”
The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Charles Titiloye, declared that the state had no plan to send anti-open grazing bill to the state House of Assembly at the moment.
He said what was on ground in the state currently was the order of the governor to be complied with within seven days.
Titiloye said, “I may not be able to reply whether the state is planning to send the anti-grazing bill or not because the governor has given an order and after the seven days ultimatum and there is no compliance, then we shall know what to do next.”
Reacting to the claim by the Northern Elders Forum that the herdsmen had freedom of movement, the commissioner explained that the governor’s order had not restrained anybody’s movement, but to flush out criminal elements among herdsmen in the state.
He said, “We are not restraining any movement. Forests have been turned to hideouts of criminals and in order to identify the real herdsmen and the criminal ones; that is why the order of the governor came.
“We know that after seven days, the criminal ones would not leave the forest reserves; and until then we shall know what step to take next.”
Farmers, others protest, monarchs warn Buhari aides
Scores of farmers, forest guards and the members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Ondo State on Thursday staged a protest against the incessant abduction of their members by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
The protesters also said they were in support of the notice to quit order from Akeredolu to herdsmen from all the forest reserves in the state.
The groups took the protest to the governor office, where they said if the current state of insecurity was not quickly checked, it might lead to chaos and famine in the state
Similarly, the Ondo State House of Assembly said on Thursday that the seven-day notice to quit was to secure lives and property.
In a statement by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Youths and Sports Development, Mr Olugbenga Omole, the lawmakers lamented the loss of lives and property to the activities of herders in Ondo State.
The statement read, “The mindless killing of the daughter of Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, the gruesome murder of the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Adewusi, and the recent killing of the Deputy Registrar of the Federal University of Technology Akure, among others, are still very fresh in our memory.
“We commend Governor Akeredolu for his courage in issuing the vacation order and condemned the statement credited to the presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, criticising the stance of the governor.”