The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has raised the alarm over what he alleged was a plot by Fulani herdsmen to unleash mayhem in the state.
The governor who made the claims in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday, said the herdsmen had taken over the state’s forest reserves and were using the forest as cover to unleash violence on the state.
Mr. Fayose had earlier condemned the herdsmen’s killing in Benue and had described it as terrorism. Ekiti, like Benue, has an anti-open grazing law.
He had also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently declare the herdsmen as terrorists based on their activities in Benue and other parts of the country.
According to him, some persons identified as Fulani herdsmen fondly called the ‘Bororo’ were making a surreptitious move into the outskirts of Ekiti with the aim to kill and maim people and ”rubbish his anti-grazing law.”
“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 federal government that they have come and want to kill men and kids and women in Ekiti,” he said.
The governor subsequently held a meeting with all local hunters from the 16 local government areas of the state and charged them to secure the state.
“If you have charms, don’t forget to use it and make them sleep off, because your people must not be killed,” he charged the hunters.
“We will not allow that to happen. I want you all the 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 8 p.m. 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.”
Speaking further, Mr. Fayose said, “Mr. President, declare herdsmen as terrorist group now, they are mindless, Godless and devilish.”
“I sympathise with our brothers, sisters and people from Benue State that are mourning the brutality of those who killed their kinsmen,” he added.
Mr. Fayose, who observed a minute’s silence for the Benue victims, was in military fatigue seemingly to appear battle-ready.
“This (uniform) is done to charge our hunters to secure the state. I saw pictures of the killings and I wondered if those were human beings,” he said.
“I asked the question, if people could be that piqued to kill human beings that way. They will find no peace. It is no tribal killings but that of mindless people. Blood of departed will find those people and they won’t know peace. It is the duty of the federal government to protect its people. We are not protected. We have never had it so bad. People must come to leadership with conscience. The federal government should have sent the army not police.
“Governor Samuel Ortom should fasten his belt and protect his people. Those seeking for help in Abuja would not find because Abuja also needs help. I sympathise with you, this is your home and nobody would kill you. You are all safe here.”
However, Mr. Fayose charged the hunters not to take the law into their hands in their bid to protect the people.
“I also learnt that ‘they’ want to come and be arresting people for no reasons. They would meet God’s hand in it. My hunters, you know Ekiti very well. Protect the state. We will be having monthly meetings,” he added.