Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has raised the alarm of imminent invasion of the state by Fulani herdsmen.
He has, therefore, charged hunters in the state to defend the people against any unforeseen invasion just as he urged the Federal Government to declare the herdsmen terrorists now.
The governor who held meeting with hunters from the 16 local government areas of the state said that intelligence reports indicated that some Bororo cattle rearers had swarmed on forest reserves in the state with the intent to cause havoc and make it look like the state’s Anti- Grazing Law was not working and added that such people would be rendered powerless.
Fayose charged the local hunters and others to be proactive and take control of the security of their communities.
Fayose who wore military uniform declared that he dressed so to charge the hunters to protect the state. He said, “I am sympathising with our brothers and sisters from Benue State who are mourning the killing of their people. We are going to observe a minute silence for the dead. I saw pictures of the killings and wondered if the killers were human beings. They cut people’s necks, arms, and they want to wipe away a race and a people who are farmers. The killers will not know peace.
“The Federal Government must protect Nigerians and we are not protected and it is the duty of the government to do so. They killed first, second and third time and nothing was done to curtail their activities. It is unfortunate that Governor Samuel Ortom went seeking help where there is none. Those he is seeking help from in Abuja can’t help themselves. We have never had it so bad. People must come to leadership with conscience. They ought to send army there but sent police who were being killed,” he said.
He wondered how a cow’s life would be terned more valuable than a human life recalling
that many years back, cattle rearers were not carrying arms and questioned the rationale behind them now bearing sophisticated weapons.
Urging the President to declare herdsmen terrorists, Fayose said: ” Mr. President, declare herdsmen as terrorists group now, they are mindless and devilish.
He advised Benue people living in the state to form prayer groups to help their governor and people, saying the governor seemed to be overwhelmed by events unfolding in his state.
He mandated the local hunters and other vigilance groups to go out and secure the state and that some dedicated lines would be made public to report any strange movement or person.
Charging the hunters who were quite excited to meet him, governor Fayose said: ” I have received letters that the Bororos have entered our reserves they want to violate our laws. I want to call on the attention of the FG that they have come and wanted to kill men and kids and women in Ekiti. We will not allow that to happen. I want you all he hunters to go back today to protect your people, be vigilant, open your eyes, make sure everyone entering our state is screened. No one in the guise of grazing should enter our land after 8pm. For our brothers who harbour criminals , tell them Ekiti is a no go area. If your plan is to make this state ungovernable you are wasting your time. I have called this meeting for everyone to be vigilant. I will begin to support you now to secure Ekiti.
Don’t let them take you by surprise. Don’t allow them to take Ekiti by storm. Go to the farms and keep vigil. Don’t just entertain visitors that come in the night, screen them. We don’t want visitors in our games at 8pm. ”
Don’t take laws into your hands but defend our people. Protect our people, check all arrivals at night coming in the guise. I am making a line available where you can make distress calls. I trust you that you can secure our people. I want to appeal to our people from Benue to pray for your state and your governor. My hunters, you know Ekiti very well, protect the state.
On the plan by some All Progressives Congress leaders to use the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to hound and arrest Ekiti State officials, Fayose said such a move would fail woefully.
The Oluode, Chief Taye Bamisile, said the hunters and other vigilantes would rise up to the challenge.
In his own remarks, the leader of Benue people in Ekiti State, Pastor Israel Egede, commended Fayose for the gesture and lauded his proactive style.