Asides from Samuel Ortom, another Nigerian governor who has been very tough on the excesses of some Fulani herdsmen is the executive governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu.
His adamant position on the killer herdsmen led to the banning of open, night and underage grazing in the state. He was also a leading voice in the Asaba and Lagos accord held in 2021 by all 19 southern governors to discuss pertinent issues affecting the region, particularly on open- grazing. Although it was agreed upon after the two famous meetings that open- grazing will be banned in all the southern states, only a few have domesticated the law in their respective states.
Akeredolu Reacts To Herdsmen Attack, Vows To Punish Culprits
On Thursday, 6 December 2022, some suspected Fulani herdsmen reportedly invaded Omolege community in Ute, Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State leading to the death of people and destruction of properties.
According to the Punch, the unfortunate incident occurred in the evening and about three lives were lost including the head of the community while houses were also torched.
During the visit of Governor Akeredolu to the community on Sunday 9 January 2022, he commiserated with the people of the community over their loved ones and also pledged to bring those behind the heinous crime to book.
The governor who visited the scene alongside the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Oyediran Oyeyemi, the Commander of the Amotekun Corps, Akogun Tunji Adeleye, and some of his cabinet members revealed that the killer herders were becoming a thorn on the flesh of the state promising that the carnage would be their last.
” I commiserate with you on the death of your loved ones. May their souls rest in peace. No government will be happy with this kind of development.
” But you have to be prepared. These herdsmen are becoming too problematic. We are not sleeping. You can see police and Amotekun here. With this one they have done, we will ensure that it is their last evil act here.
” Those behind this are criminals. Those supporting them are all criminals too. Anyone who commits crime will answer for it. The police and Amotekun with other security agencies will set out and bring them to justice. We will treat them like criminals” Akeredolu said
” Both the police and Amotekun have briefed me that they were being shot at. But for their boldness and courage, the criminals would have overwhelmed them.
” I want to assure you, don’ t be scared. We are still on their track. They have run to Edo now. But for the houses that were razed down, the government will bring relief materials. We will rebuild the ones that were razed completely. ” he added
Narrating his people ordeal in the hands of the killer herdsmen, the Baale of Uteland, Chief Felix Olabode said ” I was home when we heard that some gunmen came and killed people here. We came here immediately and we met a dead body. These buildings had not been razed.
” When we alerted the police, the DPO came and we didn’ t know that those people were still around. Not less than 30 minutes after the police evacuated the dead bodies, the gunmen came back and razed these buildings down
” They always use guns to scare people away here and then bring their cows to graze on people’ s farm and drink water. When they are leaving too, they also use guns to scare people away and leave. We have seen the level of damage here. People have left the community. We are begging the government to come to our rescue. ”
In the same vein, the Coordinator of the Oodua People’ s Congress(OPC) in the area, Mr Folorunso Olofe hinted that the unfortunate incident was one out of many as it has been a recurring event in the area for so long. He said that the Fulani herdsmen usually attack the community with AK- 47 disclosing that one of the personnel of the Amotekun Corps was also hit by bullets.
” The police came and evacuated the dead bodies and not up to fifteen minutes, they came back and razed down this place, ” Olofe shared
How Suspected Fulani Herdsmen Killed 5 People Hours After Akeredolu’ s Visit
Less than 24 hours after Governor Akeredolu visited Omolege community, a border area in Ute within Ose Local Government Area, another community identified as Arimogija community in the same local government area has been reportedly invaded by some unknown gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
According to SaharaReporters, the latest attack claimed the lives of at least five residents including the community youth chairman identified as Augustine Lucky, other members of the community that were murdered are Osaromere Augustine; Odalume Stephen; Okpakoro and Monday Black.
Could This Be The Immediate Cause: Akeredolu Advises Southwest Against Beef Consumption, Says Region Loses 12. 5 Billion Daily
Akeredolu had reportedly advised the people of Southwest Nigeria to stop consuming beef saying that the region is losing over N12billion daily.
According to The Cable, this disclosure was made by the governor’ s special adviser on agriculture, Akin Olotu at a meeting where all stakeholders in the state’ s education sector were in attendance.
The governor said rather than relying on beef (Cow meat), people in the Southwest region should consider using chicken meats as alternatives in their various ceremonies. He however justified his statement by quoting the president who had earlier advised all Nigerians to grow what they eat and eat what they grow.
” The president said grow what you eat and eat what you grow. I have been a serious advocate and I am reemphasising it, please let us use chicken for our ceremonies” he said
” Yes, I mean broilers. They are cheaper. I met with the traditional rulers and I told them that those before you have to encourage that.
” Why am I saying this? There is an N2. 5 billion beef market in the southwest every day. It means every day in the southwest, we send [The sum of] N2. 5 billion out of the south- west? That is the bedrock of poverty in the region” he added
” We have a region that is not retaining money. Don’ t let any politician tell you any abracadabra, if we don’ t reverse that trend, we will continue to remain on the same spot, ” he concluded