Governors of Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Kebbi, and Jigawa States are currently holding a meeting with the national leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) at the International Culture and Events Centre in Akure, Ondo State capital.
Also present at the meeting are former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, and police authorities are also at the meeting.
The Nigerian Governors Forum Chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi in his welcome remarks highlighted some issues expected to be resolved at the meeting:
These include addressing issues of crimes and criminality, the framework of engagement with MACBAN on security; and creating alternative security network like Amotekun.
He added that the meeting is at the instance of the NGF and is not planned but necessitated by the exigencies of the present challenges of insecurity in the country.
He also pointed out that there is no eviction order to Fulani herdsmen in Ondo or any other state in the southwest. According to Fayemi, the Ondo Governor only directed that all herdsmen should register for them to operate in the state forest reserves.
The NGF Chairman said ethnic profiling has to stop and all tribes in Nigeria are faced by the insecurity challenge. Fulanis too are victims of crime such as cattle rustling.
“Many members of MACBAN were born in the South-West. So, Akeredolu cannot ask Fulani to vacate Ondo State. The area concerned is the forest reserves and it is about registration and also to work in line with the law. What we are after is the criminals, not Fulani herdsmen, criminals are criminals irrespective of their ethnic group,” Fayemi said.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu last week ordered herdsmen to vacate all forest reserves in the state within the next seven days. The Governor said the order had become imperative due to the increasing incidents of kidnap cases in the state.
“These unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen. These felons have turned our forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom, and carrying out other criminal activities,” Akeredolu said.
This order generated controversies with the Federal Government in a statement by the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu saying Akeredolu being a senior lawyer would be the least expected to unilaterally expel thousands of herders who have lived all their lives in the state on account of the infiltration of the forests by criminals.