Herdsmen Crisis: Govs Interested in Checking Criminality, Not Eviction, Says Fayemi
Chuks Okocha, Udora Orizu in Abuja and Abiodun Eromosele in Lagos
The Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of Nigeria Governor’s Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has said that there was no eviction notice against any Fulani herdsman or any Nigerian living in Ondo State or any part of the South-west, clarifying that the South-west governors are interested in checking criminality in the forest reserves in whatever form.
Fayemi stated this yesterday on ARISE NEWS Channels, a sister broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers, following the meeting of governors of the South-west states and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN).
He noted that the position of the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu was focused on all illegal occupants of the forests reserves in state.
The governor also urged Nigerians to refrain from ethnic profiling and focus on insecurity and how to tackle it.
Fayemi said, ‘’There was no ultimatum given to the Fulanis by the Governor of Ondo State against Fulani herdsmen, the reporting of this was mischievous and sensational; I think we should concentrate on substance; how do we manage diversity and difference in our country. That is what the Nigeria Governor’s forum is interested in and we are interested in checking criminality in whatever hue or form it comes. Criminality has no ethnicity and we should refrain from ethnic profiling of criminals. Let’s focus on apprehending criminals. Our duty as Governors is to ensure the security and welfare of Nigerians”.
‘’At our meeting today with the MACABAN, they didn’t express any aversion to those in forest reserves being registered. What they were concerned about was an indiscriminate eviction notice, and there was no eviction notice against any Fulani herdsman or any Nigerian living in Ondo State or part of the South West. Those who are making mountain out of a mole hill are those responsible for misconstruing the governor’s position.
‘’The governor is only concerned about security in the state; many people have been kidnapped, killed, and he has the right as the chief security officer of the state to worry and do something about it. There’s no need for him to apologise about that; he didn’t do that; all he stated was that he never issued an eviction notice to any ethnic group.
‘’The ultimatum was focused on all illegal occupants of the forests reserves in Ondo State; it was not an eviction notice given to Fulani herdsmen living in Ondo State. Even legitimate Fulani herdsmen are victims of crimes and criminality and that’s why I do not want us to focus on the ethnicity of criminals but to treat them for who they are and bring them to book. We have to be tough on crime. Let’s focus on insecurity and how to tackle it. Let’s not engage in ethnic profiling”.