In reaction to the killing of two residents and the injuring of others in Oke Ako in Ikole local government area of Ekiti State by Fulani herdsmen, Governor Ayodele Fayose has declared that he cannot guarantee there will be no reprisal attacks if the carnage by the herdsmen were to continue.
Fayose, consoling the people of the attacked community and the family members of the dead, promised to make sure that a reoccurrence of the brutal attack does not happen anywhere in the state while he stated that he has a responsibility to defend the people of the state.
According to a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said, “I will not fold my hands while armed herdsmen invade communities in Ekiti, killing people and destroying farmlands at will as they have done in other States” while noting that the herdsmen were becoming a national threat.
He further said, “I have directed the police and other security agencies in the State to fish out the killer herdsmen. I am in constant touch with the security agencies and I hope that the killer herdsmen will be fished out wherever they are and made to face the full wrath of the law.
“The people of Oke-Ako should therefore remain calm while the security agents do their job. However, the security agents must be mindful of the fact that the people’s patience has a limit and they must therefore act promptly and decisively.”
The governor also said the actions of the herdsmen was affecting the country’s agriculture negatively; “Farmlands costing billions of naira have been destroyed in States in the South-West, South-East and North-Central zones of the country. One wonders how Nigerians can go back to farming when those already in the farms are losing billions of naira worth of crops to destruction of their farmlands by the Fulani Herdsmen and the Federal Government is not doing anything about it.”
He said, “I am sounding a note of warning to the Fulani herdsmen and those who can talk to them should also do so now. If they continue with these wanton attacks, killing of the people and destruction of farmlands in Ekiti, I cannot guarantee that there won’t be reprisal attacks.
“I can also not guarantee the level that the reprisal attacks can get to because as a governor, it is my responsibility to defend and protect my people.”
Fayose also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop obliging the herdsmen and their antics stating that “as patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), President Buhari has the capacity to call the herdsmen to order.
“President Buhari should therefore call his people to order because this is Ekiti; our people have the rights to defend themselves.
“Most importantly, President Buhari must be reminded of how he was so concerned about the killing of Fulani herdsmen in Saki, Oke Ogun Area of Oyo State such that he, as a private citizen led Arewa to Ibadan on October 13, 2000, to confront the then Governor of Oyo State, late Alhaji Lam Adesina.”