Nigeria News
Herdsmen: Opposing Akeredolu’s order dangerous for peace, Afenifere tells presidency

National Organising Secretary of Afenifere, Kole Omololu, has urged the presidency to back the order of Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu asking herdsmen to leave the state’s forest reserves.

In an interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday, Omololu said opposing the order given by Akeredolu portends danger for peace in South-West and Nigeria.

The PUNCH reports that in a statement on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), said Akeredolu lacked the power to unilaterally sack herdsmen from Ondo forests.

But the Afenifere chieftain cautioned the presidency against action that may result in a civil war in the country, noting that the presidency’s position was embarrassing.

Omololu said, “What we should know is that it is a Forest Reserve. A place not meant for human habitation. We have wood and other things there for the benefit of the citizens. It can only be entered by authorised personnel.

“The governor of Ondo State is in order. What he has done is in the best interest of Nigeria. It is embarrassing for the presidency to be seen to be protecting criminals, wherever they are from. It is out of place. It is not helping the image and security of our country.

“The presidency is supposed to give a backing to the Ondo government by supporting that all unauthorised people should leave. Presidency opposing Akeredolu is very dangerous, extremely dangerous for peace.

“Are they saying they (presidency) will be bringing Army and police to take over Ondo? The presidency needs to be very careful. It should not start what it cannot finish. There can’t be civil war again in this country. Don’t believe somebody will get up and fight for the government.”

The Afenifere national organising secretary also called on governors in the South-West region to unite and “fight for Yorubaland”.

He added, “Nobody should harass legitimate herdsmen but those taking over our lands forcefully should be sent out. It is so sad that the presidency cannot trust our government. It is so sad. The presidency is supposed to be the father of the nation, not protecting one ethnic group against the other. This is a dangerous phenomenon in the history of Nigeria.”

Apart from ejecting the herdsmen, Akeredolu also banned under-aged grazing, night grazing, movement of cattle within the cities and highways. He also gave the herdsmen seven days ultimatum to comply with the order.

However, the Secretary General of the Miyeti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, had reacted that the association had not been formally informed.

culled from PUNCH