By Dapo Akinrefon & Rotimi Ojomoyela
LAGOS—THE Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams, yesterday, condemned the proposed N100 billion funds allocated to Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, saying that such allocation will further encourage the spring up of additional pressure groups across the country.
This came as Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State expressed its readiness to conduct a registration of herdsmen in the state.
Adams, who cautioned the move in a statement, said such funds should be channelled to other lucrative areas.
He noted that the proposed N100 billion for Miyetti Allah is much higher than the total budget for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for three years, arguing that the move can trigger avoidable crisis across all the zones in the country.
He said: “The issue at stake is about the spate of insecurity across the nation. It is not limited to the North. Therefore, the Federal Government needs to be cautious on the move. Here in the South West, the spate of insecurity is raging.
“For instance, in Akokoland, in Ondo State, which happens to be my hometown, there were series of attacks and kidnapping that had been raging and still on the increase. People have been killed, and kidnapped at will, and the situation continues till the present moment.
“Last year, Chief Olu Falae’s farm was invaded and destroyed by some herdsmen; Chief Alani Akinrinade also suffered the same fate. In Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, a prominent Yoruba son lost several millions to the activities of these killer herdsmen. Several other people in the South-West had had the bitter experience.”
While reacting to the new security measures put in place recently by the Minister for Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, at a meeting with traditional rulers which took place at the Arewa House, he lamented that government has not deemed it fit to extend the olive branch to the other regions in the country.
He also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to handle the issue of true federalism the way and manner he handled the June 12 issue, which today made him an hero.
“With the new situation, I think the President has an idea of what we have been saying all these days about true federalism and restructuring. Nigeria’s problems can only be solved with true federalism.
“Many of the problems plaguing our nation, especially, insecurity can be addressed through federalism. For example, if all the regions develop at their own pace, every other issue, including security, power, and health would be taken care of at the state level,” he said.
Ekiti to register herdsmen
Meanwhile, in a bid to stem herdsmen attack on farmers and residents, Governor Fayemi says it will conduct a registration of herdsmen in the state.
Coordinator of the State Anti Grazing Task Force Marshals, Mr. Sola Durodola, who disclosed this to reporters to the weekend, said the move became necessary to prevent herder-farmers clashes in the state.
This is just as the Task Force also arrested a gun-wielding suspect inside one of the state forest reserves who specialises in illegal felling of economic trees.
Durodola explained that the registration of the herdsmen would assist the government to know their number and be able to trace any act of criminality carried out by any of them in any part of the state.
He said: “Government will not fail in its duty to ensure security of lives and property and this is to assist us to differentiate law abiding herdsmen from criminals.
“Modality for the registration of herdsmen will soon be out and we want every stakeholder to cooperate with government to ensure that peace reigns in our state.
“No herdsman will be allowed to kill our people, destroy farm produce and attack innocent farmers in pursuit of their trade.”
Man with gun arrested inside forest reserve
In a related development, the Anti-Grazing Task Force has arrested one Tunde popularly called, J Spanner for allegedly threatening to kill forestry guards in Ekiti West Local Government Area.
The suspect has since been handed over to the Police for further investigations.
Speaking on the development, Durodola disclosed that one single barrel gun with six live cartridges were recovered from the suspect.
Durodola stated that the forestry guards had complained to his office that their lives were at risk, which made him to lead other Marshals to the area where the man was apprehended.
He used the forum to caution those engaging in illegal activities at government forestry reserves across the state to stop such act or face the full wrath of the law.