Mimiko: No Room for Grazing Land in Ondo

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  •  Governor hints on successor as Fayose warns Ondo electorate

By James Sowole in Akure

As the controversies over the federal government’s move to realise the establishment of grazing reserves in several parts of the country, as a way to solve herdsmen/farmers clashes, Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, at the weekend restated that there is no land for grazing in the state.

Mimiko made the declaration in a remark at the lecture organised by the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, in honour of its national leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, as part of activities to celebrate 90th birthday of the octogenarian.

The lecture titled: ‘The Yoruba Welfare Ideology and the Future of the Yoruba Nation,’  was delivered by an academic and historian, Prof. Banji Akintoye, who is an alumnus of University of Ibadan like the celebrant.

The lecture, which dealt with the historic, political ideology and contemporary issues about the position of the Yoruba nation since pre-independence era, was attended by leaders and members of the Afenifere and representatives of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) from the entire South-east geopolitical zone.

The governor, who commented on major issues raised in the lecture, said the proposed grazing land issue does not align with the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He said the constitution has vested in the governor the power to allocate land and revoke same and this had not been amended in the constitution that regulates things in Nigeria.

 Mimiko said though there had been several calls on the need to find amicable resolution on the matter so that it does not degenerate into what can cause serious crisis, but the more the calls were coming, the more of new crises caused by people from a section of the country.

“The question now is for how long shall we continue to call for peace in the face of the prevailing situation; definitely something has to be done.

“No law has vested power on any person be it commission or whatever name it is called to take land for any use without the approval of the governor,” Mimiko said.

Apportioning tasks to the Yoruba nation on various challenges confronting the country, the guest lecturer said the ethnic group must demand that as a matter of overriding state principle, Nigeria must henceforth employ peaceful negotiations rather than military violence to find solutions to Nigeria’s difficulties.

Akintoye, who is the Patron of Oodua Foundation in Diaspora said the Afenifere Nation must work with other ethnic groups to ensure that sane solutions will be found to the tortuous crisis which armed and murderous herdsmen are currently generating in most parts of Nigeria.

To achieve effective and lasting solution, the lecturer said President Muhammadu Buhari must set up some measure to ascertain the true facts of the situation.

 “Merely ordering the Nigerian military and police to stop these herdsmen from attacking villages and farmers as the president has done, is not enough.

“The military and the police may succeed in restraining these people to some extent and for some time, but as long as they remain and important questions about them remain unexplained, wild and inflammatory speculations Nigeria,” he said.

Akintoye said the Yoruba nation must demand that President Muhammadu Buhari must lead Nigeria to embark on serious and  far reaching discussions with leaders, peoples and the militants of the Niger Delta, the hurting peoples of the Middle Belt desperately in need of security, the Igbo citizens demanding Biafra, the Yoruba people intensely seek’s national autonomy for the benefit of all Nigerian peoples and the Hausa-Fulani insisting on an over-centralised federation for the defence of their interest.

“We must find ways to persuade various aggrieved peoples of Nigeria to stop hitting Nigeria, to lay down their arms now and forever, to join hands with the rest of Nigeria to create a harmonious structure for Nigeria, and to turn Nigeria’s destiny around for the good for all Nigeria,” Akintoye said.

He also called on leaders of Yoruba nation to work together peacefully with other nationalities within the country to find ways to restructure the Nigerian federation and ways to revive economic and social development initiatives in all parts of the country.

Meanwhile, Mimiko, has expressed optimism that  God will bring a man after his heart to continue with the good work he is doing as governor of the state.

He promised that the state would never be allowed to go back to ‘Egypt’ again.

This came as the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose,  advised the people of Ondo State to vote for the continuity of the good legacy of the incumbent governor.

While speaking on the coming gubernatorial election coming up in the state in November at a thanksgiving service of the 15th annual convention of the Riches in Christ Evangelical Mission Akure, the Ondo State capital yesterday, Mimiko  noted the God that made his re-election the most peaceful one will make the November 26 gubernatorial election in Ondo State very peaceful.

Mimiko who  said the church is richly blessed by God with their act of celebration despite economic challenges everywhere in Nigeria added God would heal the land and put an end to all the security challenges in Nigeria

Speaking in the same vein, Fayose who was also present at the event  urged the  people of Ondo State to vote for the continuity of the good legacy of the incumbent governor of the state, Mimiko as the governorship poll approaches.

He warned  the people of the state  not to repeat the mistake Nigerians made during the last presidential election by voting for a candidate that has put the nation in a total hardship.

According to Fayose, “the people of Ondo State must not make the mistake we made during the last presidential election in Nigeria. My advice is that you don’t allow yourselves to be carried away by repeating the mistakes of last year that we are paying seriously for now.”

The Ekiti State governor advised the electorate of Ondo State not to allow themselves to be misled by voting wrongly, saying it will be a big mistake on their part if  they make the mistake of voting for opposition parties.

He noted that the best that can happen to Ondo State is for the people to vote for continuity of Mimiko’s good legacy.

Fayose, who said all his predictions for Nigeria last year had come to reality commended Mimiko for identifying with the people of Ondo State across strata.

He vowed not to support any ungodly act, saying that his voice will continue to remain different because the Nigerian constitution permits majority to have their way and the minority to have their say.