The Ondo State Government has reaffirmed its earlier warning that unregistered herders should vacate the state forest reserve.
The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, conveyed the order of the governor, in response to a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu.
Ojogo said; “Ondo State Government did not ask Fulani to leave the state. The governor said herdsmen who are unregistered should leave our forests.
“The statement from Garba Shehu is brazen display of emotional attachments and it’s very inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria. We need clearly defined actions on the part of the Federal Government to decimate the erroneous impression that the inspiration of these criminal elements masquerading as herdsmen is that of power. Our unity is threatened, no doubt.
“It (statement) states in a breath that the governor fights crime with passion while it is prevaricating on the atrocities. The question is, are the herdsmen who are perpetrating murder, kidnapping and robbery more important than government and even the Federal Government in this case? Ethnic nationality and activism on the part of anyone hiding under the Presidency or federal government is an ill wind,” the commissioner added.
The commissioner had earlier declared that there was no going back on its order asking herdsmen to vacate all the forest reserves in the state.
“The governor’s directive except they are telling the world that Miyetti Allah is above every law in the land”, he said.
In the same vein, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Jimoh Dojumo, said, “I want to advise those operating within the forest legally to register with the state government. The truth is that if they (herdsmen) still want to remain in the forest; let them come and register, we want to know the people occupying our forest.”