‘Tosin Ajuwon, Akure.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has given a seven- day ultimatum to Fulani herdsmen grazing within the cities and highways to vacate Ondo State.
Akeredolu gave the directive at an interactive meeting with the Hausa, Ebira, and Fulani leaders in Akure, the state capital.
He also banned the movement of cattle from the Forest Reserves of the state and underage grazing in the state.
The governor’s directive came barely forty-eight hours that suspected Fulani herdsmen killed the Deputy Registrar of the Federal University of Technology Akure.
According to Mr. Akeredolu, the latest step was taken to tackle the cause of kidnapping and nefarious activities documented in security reports from victims of kidnap cases in the state.
He said, “These unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen. These felons have turned our forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransoms, and carrying out other criminal activities.
“As the Chief Law and Security Officer of the State, it is my constitutional obligation to do everything lawful to protect the lives and property of all residents of the state. In light of the foregoing, the following orders are hereby issued:
“All Forest Reserves in the state are to be vacated by herdsmen within the next seven days with effect from today, Monday 18th, January 2021. Night grazing is banned with immediate effect because most farm destruction takes place at night.
“Movement of cattle within cities and highways is prohibited. Underage grazing of cattle is outlawed.
“In its usual magnanimity, our administration will give a grace period of seven days for those who wish to carry on with their cattle-rearing business to register with appropriate authorities.
“Our resolution to guarantee the safety of lives and property within the state shall remain utmost as security agencies have been directed to enforce the ban.”
While encouraging a mutual relationship between the people and their host communities, the governor asked the people to point out bad eggs in their midst to clear their names.
Akeredolu who expressed worries about the upsurge in crime rate cautioned that any monarch found colluding with the suspected criminals would be sanctioned
Earlier, State Chairman, Miyetti Alla, Alhaji Mohammed Bello pledged to cooperate with the government to nip crime in the bud.
Both the Commander Amotekun Corps, Mr. Adetunji Adeleye, and the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bolaji Salami said information from the people would induce meaningful arrest of the suspected criminals who used some of their camps as hideouts.
There had been a growing rate of insecurity in the state despite the launch of the Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as Amotekun.
Recalled that in July 2019, some suspected herdsmen in a kidnap attempt, shot and killed Funke Olakunrin, the second daughter of Afenifere leader, Reuben Fasoranti.
Also, in November 2020, Oba Adegoke Adeusi, the Olufon of Ifon in the Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State was murdered by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.
Oba Adeusi was killed at a spot around the Elegbeka axis of the town while returning to his palace from Akure, the state capital.