Herdsmen’s Killing: I’m Not an Ethnic Jingoist, Says Fayose

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  • Fulanis in Ilorin beg governor to lift ban on grazing

Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has said people should not misrepresent him for an ethnic jingoist or having enmity against the Fulani people over his utterances on the killing of two persons by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Oke Ako Ekiti last Friday.

He stated this in Lagos yesterday at the funeral ceremony of Mama Violet Oluremilekun Philips-George, the mother of a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Chief Bode George.
In a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, he added that his call on the federal government to stem the rising tide of Fulani herdsmen attack on communities across the country was borne out of the need for national cohesion, unity and peace.

“I have nothing against the Fulani people or any other group in the country. My call for the federal government to put a check to the excesses of the Fulani herdsmen is for national unity, peace and harmony.

“The issue of incessant attacks on communities across the country by the herdsmen is a time bomb and it should not be allowed to get out ofhand. The earlier will stop the menace the better for us as a nation.
“This has nothing to do with politics or where one comes from in the country. Who knows who the next victim could be,” he said.

Meanwhile, Fulanis in Ilorin, Kwara State, have exonerated themselves from the attack launched by suspected herdsmen on Oke Ako Ekiti last Friday, leading to the death of two persons.
The Seriki of the Fulani from Ilorin, Alhaji Mahmood Ahmadu, who spoke in Ado Ekiti yesterday, begged Fayose to lift the ban placed on open grazing to save the cattle business of more than 100,000 of his members across the state
Fayose had during his visit to Oke Ako in Ikole Local Government on Monday, announced that every cattle dealer in the state must own a ranch, ordering the villagers to start killing any cattle sighted within their premises or farmlands.

Ahmadu lamented that his members had vacated their residences and property in Oke Ako, Irele and Ipao Ekiti as a result of the order given by the governor that any cattle seen around the vicinity must be killed.
He revealed that his members have over three million cattle across the 16 local government areas of the state, saying restricting them would bring their businesses to a halt.

Ahmadu promised that his people would join hands with Fayose to bring the perpetrators of the nefarious act to book and to secure the state and prevent it from being attacked by killer herdsmen.

“Ilorin Fulani herdsmen are not killers, we are responsible citizens. I have been in Ado Ekiti for 40 years. My people had property in their locations and are now living in palpable fear. If we should tie
all our cows, how do we feed them. They will all die and this will be disastrous to our members.
“We appeal to all traditional rulers to help our people and save them from attack. They should also help us beg the governor to lift the ban to ease our burden. We are cohabiting with our host communities peacefully and this we shall sustain at all cost,” he promised.

The chairman of the Fulani Ilorin fin Moba Local Government, Alhaji Kayode Suleiman, urged his members to be vigilant and be ready to expose the identities of those hiding under cattle rearing to unleash mayhem on the people. He said they have set up a committee to liaise with the state government, so that they can fashion out ways to deal with the killer herdsmen that are causing restiveness in the state. “We have association in Ekiti and the name in Jamu Nati Fulbe Association of Nigeria. We have our bases and we are identifiable unlike some itinerant herdsmen. So we want the people of the state to show understanding by separating our members from these evil
doers,” he pleaded.