Some Governors have met with the national leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) in Akure, Ondo State capital, and condemned criminal activities by bandits, kidnappers, rapists among others who hide in forests to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.
The Governors include Engr Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; Mr Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State; Muhammadu Badru Abubakar of Jigawa State; Mr Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State; Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and the NGF Chairman who is also the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
The Governors also vowed to protect citizens of their State from the incessant attacks and promote good neighborliness through collaborative efforts.
Governor Seyi Makinde in his address said the meeting is not about politics but a meeting about a serious challenge being faced with; vowing that: “We will not use criminality to solve criminality as nobody can predict what will end such. We will continue to work with our people to face the kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers who are our common enemies. We have to deal with the issue of fake news.”
He added that he will continue to promote good neigbourliness and support the Security Agencies for them to do their work; promising that “we will continue to expand the economy and provide job opportunities for our people. We will continue to provide the leadership that the country needs at this time.”
In his reactions, Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola said criminality has no ethnic coloration and some criminals masquerading as herdsmen must be identified.
He noted that: “In Osun State we have a Committee made up of Farmers-Herdsmen represented by MACBAN and Government representatives, standing Committee will help. I recommend this for other States. Sometimes it’s a question of communication. Every Nigerian has a right to stay anywhere in the country.”
Also speaking, the Jigawa State Governor, Mr Mohammed Badaru Abubakar stressed that: “There’s so much instigation in the South and in the North by those who don’t wish the country well to cause the crisis.”
The Governor added that they won’t tolerate criminality in any form and fight criminals, ethnic or religious inclination notwithstanding; stating that: “In Jigawa, criminality is very low, everyone is engaged in fighting crime, even MACBAN do arrest criminals. The Ondo Governor did not order Fulani herdsmen out of Ondo State, he only said he wants to identify and profile those who will operate in the forests. Commend the collaboration among the security agencies in securing the country.”
On his part, the Kebbi State Governor, Mr Abubakar Atiku Bagudu in his address said insecurity is the same across the country; noting that: “We need to invest in modernisation of pastoral farming to reduce crisis. Security Agencies should work together to identify and apprehend criminally minded individuals in the society, whether they are Fulanis or not.”
In his own reaction, Governor Akeredolu of Ondo State appreciated his Ekiti State counterpart for initiating the meeting; lamenting that kidnappers are using forest reserves as an area of operation for kidnapping.
He noted that: “Even our Farmers are registered, we all agreed no night grazing, no underaged grazing. We will ban grazing in cities. I assure you we can all work together to chase all criminals from the state. We must be able to identify and move them out of the forest reserves. We must protect everyone living in Ondo State.”