Yoruba Elders Back Governor Akeredolu On Quit Notice To Herders In Ondo


Elders in the South West have thrown their weight behind the governor of Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu’s quit notice to herders to quit the forests in the state following the growing cases of kidnappings traced to criminals hiding in the areas. 


The elders, who also took swipe at the Presidency over the latter’s statement cautioning the governor against his directive, accused the Presidency of undue meddling in issues within the purview of the state. 


Recall that following the high rate of kidnappings in Ondo State, allegedly committed by criminals hiding in forests across the state, the governor had given herdsmen a seven-day ultimatum to vacate the areas. 


But reacting, after Fulani leadership under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, cried out over the governor’s action, the Presidency in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, cautioned the governor against his action, saying the herders cannot leave the dreaded forests for any reason. The development has drawn the attention of some Yoruba elders who accused the federal government of abandoning its core responsibilities to meddle in issues within the purview of state governors.


Speaking under a group, Coalition of Oduduwa Elders, the Yoruba elders warned the Presidency to steer clear of governance issues in Ondo or any other state in the country, saying the governor’s action was the best in protecting the lives of Ondo citizens because, according to them, the federal government which has exclusive control of conventional security architecture in the country, had failed to protect the people. 


The group, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Dr Tunde Aremu and National Secretary, Barr. Mrs Folake Ajasin, respectively, asked the governor not to be distracted by actions of those it noted, ” have failed to safeguard the lives of Nigerians” but be firm and decisive in his actions aimed at giving Ondo people safety. 


Regretting that Ondo forests have become launching pads for herdsmen, the elders noted that the “herdsmen coming into the state are doing so not for the purpose of grazing, but killing and destroying property.” 

“The marauders, who usually come without cattle, engage in kidnappings, attacking communities in the guerrilla style of warfare, killings, burn houses and destroying other property! Should the governor fold his hands and look the other way while his people are being massively kidnapped, killed and their property destroyed? No, these have to stop now. And the only way to stop it is what Chief Akeredolu has done,” they said.

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