Gov. Ayo Fayose
Gov. Ayo Fayose

“We will not leave our lands for Fulani herdsmen and in a system where the leadership of the country looks the other way while our people are being killed, we will have no option but to defend ourselves by whatever means.”

That was an enraged Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose reacting to the latest mayhem unleashed by suspected Fulani herdsmen on farmers at Oke Ako in Ikole Local Government Area of the state. He also declared a ban on cattle grazing in Ekiti. The clash left two persons dead and about three others seriously injured.

Fayose’s anger was mixed with frustration. The Ekiti State governor was disappointed that while Fulani cattle herders attacked communities, killed, maimed and raped people across many parts of Nigeria, the Federal Government looked helpless.

Having commiserated with the people of the affected community, he made cash donations to the families of the victims. He also doled out money to support security efforts of hunters and vigilance groups.

Aside from these, Fayose has plans to give legal backing to his strong resolve to halt the menace of the cattle rearers in the state. He has already placed a ban on open grazing of cattle across Ekiti. “No more movement of cattle from one location to another in the state. A bill to this effect will be sent to the House of Assembly for passage into law. Those interested in cattle farming should henceforth do so in their own cattle ranches,” he ordered.

Fayose did not stop at reading the riot act to the Fulani herdsmen. He obviously took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he accused of playing double standards. He said: "If the same President Buhari was so concerned about the killing of Fulani herdsmen in Saki in Oke Ogun area of Oyo State, such that he, as a private citizen, led the Arewa Consultative Forum Ibadan on October 13, 2000 to confront the then governor of Oyo State, the Late Alhaji Lam Adeshina, is now keeping silent when the same herdsmen are killing our people, we must rise and defend ourselves.”

Governor Fayose further declared that the only form of grazing allowed Fulani herdsmen in Ekiti State is that confined to private ranches. Open and free movement of herds in any part of the state, he said, is prohibited.