Ekiti governor, Ayodele Peter Fayose has made it categorically clear that criminalizing cattle rearing in Ekiti has come to stay, and there won’t be any going back on the issue.
In a statement the governor forwarded to ENCOMIUM Weekly on Friday, May 27, 2016, via his Special Adviser on Public Communication and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka, the governor expressed bitterness on the recent attack on the people of Oke Ako in Ikole local government area of the state by Fulani herdsmen which led to the killing of two of the villagers while many others were seriously injured. He added that the act was not only heinous and condemnable but will not be tolerated, henceforth, by his government.
He therefore warned that those interested in cattle rearing should get their own ranch as a bill to make movement of cattle from one location to the other will soon be sent to the state House of Assembly.
The statement reads, “The Fulani herdsmen that invaded Oke Ako and other communities in Nigeria are agents of devil that must be fished out and punished accordingly.
“We will not leave our land for Fulani herdsmen .And in a system where the leadership of the country looks the other way while our people are being killed, we will have no option than to defend ourselves by whatever means.
“I have directed that cattle rearing and grazing should stop henceforth in Ekiti state and those interested in cattle farming should do so in their private cattle ranch.
“No more movement of cattle from one place to another in the state, and any cattle seen anywhere in the state apart from the ranch created for them will be confiscated by the government and the owners will be prosecuted.
“A bill to that effect will be sent to House of Assembly for passage into law to criminalize cattle owners whose cattle are found moving from one location to another in the state.
“If president Buhari who is the patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has refused to call the herdsmen to order, we in Ekiti will no longer harbour herdsmen who go about killing our people, destroying our farm lands and raping our women.
“If the same Buhari that was so concerned about the killing of Fulani herdsmen in Shaki, Oke Ogun areas of Oyo state such that he, as a private citizen, led Arewa leaders to Ibadan on October 13, 2000, to confront the then Oyo governor, late Alhaji Lam Adesina is now keeping silent when the same herdsmen are killing our people. We must rise and defend our people. It’s our duty to protect our people and we’re going to do it without fear or favour.”
However, on Saturday, May 28, 2016, ENCOMIUM Weekly got back to Olayinka on the development concerning the decision of the governor, and he simply reacted, “No going back on that. I believe I have forwarded everything about the issue to you.”