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Akeredolu didn’t ask herdsmen to vacate Ondo – Fayemi

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) said there was no eviction order to herdsmen in Ondo State or any part of the South West region. 

 Chairman of NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, stated this in Akure at a meeting with the national leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN). 

 He said the order from Ondo Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, was misconstrued in the media. 

 Fayemi noted that Akeredolu only directed that all herdsmen should register for them to operate in the state forest reserves. 

 The NGF Chairman said ethnic profiling has to stop, adding that all tribes in Nigeria are faced with the insecurity challenge. He said Fulanis are also victims of crime such as cattle rustling.

 “Many members of MACBAN were born in the South-West. So, Akeredolu cannot ask Fulani to vacate Ondo State. 

The area concerned is the forest reserves and it is about registration and also to work in line with the law. 

What we are after is the criminals, not Fulani herdsmen, criminals are criminals irrespective of their ethnic group,” Fayemi said.

 Akeredolu last week ordered herdsmen to vacate all forest reserves in the state within the next seven days. “All Forest Reserves in the State are to be vacated by herdsmen within the next 7 days with effect from today, Monday 18th January 2021,” Akeredolu said. 

 The Governor said the order had become imperative due to the increasing incidents of kidnap cases in the state. 

 However, The order generated controversies and also didn’t go down well with the Federal Government.

A statement by the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu stated that Akeredolu being a senior lawyer would be the least expected to unilaterally expel thousands of herders who have lived all their lives in the state on account of the infiltration of the forests by criminals. 

 The presidency also argued that ”insecurity is not alien to any group, the language they speak, their geographical location or their faith”.

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