— 2mins read
The governor had, in a series of tweets on Monday, ordered herdsmen within the state to vacate the state forest reserves in the next seven days, saying that it was one of the several tactics put in place by the state government to address the growing insecurity in the state.
But the announcement did not go down well with MACBAN, which asked the governor to provide alternative sources of grazing for the herders if he had plans to ban them from the forest.
Usman Baba-Ngelzerma, secretary-general, MACBAN, told newsmen on Tuesday that the earlier agreement reached with the governor revolved around ending night grazing, rather than vacating forest reserves.
“The governor had a two-hour meeting today and the chairman of MACBAN in Ondo State was there. He told me that the agreement they reached was that we should stop night grazing and stop allowing cows to graze around government properties, and cooperate with Amotekun to help fish out bad eggs among them.
“That is what we were told. There was no discussion about vacating. But if they asked them to vacate the forest reserves, have they provided an alternative for them to graze? Where will they graze if they leave the forest reserves?
“As it is now, we are not aware of any order to vacate. My chairman is not aware of that. I just read about it in the media. When we have confirmed, we will know what to do.”
He further said Nigerians must be aware that not all herdsmen were members of Miyetti Allah.
However, Ajibade Ogunoye, traditional ruler of Owoland, commended the governor’s decision, saying that it was long overdue.
The monarch, through his chief press secretary, Sam Adewale, said the governor’s action would go a long way in solving the security challenges facing the state.
The monarch said, “As the chief security officer of the state, the governor could not sit, watch and fold his arms while the citizens are being kidnapped at will by bandits.
“The security of lives and properties of the people of the state are important to the government. Therefore, all efforts of the government in this regard must be supported by all.”
Read Also: Ortom wants FG to legalise weapons for ‘responsible civilians’, calls for end to open grazing
Oba Ogunoye also called on all the traditional rulers in the state to rally support for the governor in his bid “to rid the state of criminals and make Ondo State safe for the people to live in”.
Earlier in December, The ICIR had reported how Oba Israel Adeusi, a foremost traditional ruler in the state, was killed by suspected gunmen at Elegbeka, a community along the Ifon-Benin highway, while returning from the monthly meeting of the state council of Obas in Akure.
His vehicle was said to have been rained with bullets while the driver was trying to escape from the gunmen. He was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre in Owo, where he died as a result of gunshots he sustained during the attack.
The same day that the monarch was killed, Sade Ale, wife of the Ondo state governor’s chief of staff, Olugbenga Ale, was kidnapped on her way from Lagos on Thursday night by some suspected gunmen at Owena area, near Akure.
She regained her freedom following security intervention.
The same day, a commercial bank was robbed at Ode Irele, in Irele Local Government Area, with two reportedly killed and several others injured.