—Garba Shehu spoke for herdsmen, not Presidency
—- His reaction, inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
— Afenifere blast Federal govt
Dayo Johnson Akure
Ondo state government has said that Nigeria’s unity is under threat because President Muhammadu Buhari’ led administration is emotionally attached to Fulani herdsmen.
The state Information and Orientation Commissioner, Donald Ojogo said this in a statement issued in Akure.
Ojogo was reacting to the statement by the Presidency against the directive of the State Government banning the operation of unregistered Fulani herdsmen in its forest.
“The Ondo State Government did not ask Fulani to leave the state. The governor said herdsmen who are unregistered should leave our forests.
“The statement from Garba Shehu is a brazen display of emotional attachments and it’s very inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
“We need clearly defined actions on the part of the Federal Government to decimate the erroneous impression that the inspiration of these criminal elements masquerading as herdsmen is that of power. Our unity is threatened, no doubt.
“It (statement) states in a breath that the governor fights crime with passion while it is prevaricating on the atrocities.
“The question is, are the herdsmen who are perpetrating murder, kidnapping and robbery more important than government and even the Federal Government in this case?
“Ethnic nationality and activism on the part of anyone hiding under the Presidency or federal government is an ill wind”, the statement read.
Also, speaking on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Ojogo berated presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu over what it described as ” a suspicious defence of criminal elements ” under the guise of herdsmen.
According to him Shehu spoke for the herdsmen and not the Presidency.
“It’s certain and I’m convinced that Mr President by his nationalistic posture and patriotism, could not have directed that the statement be issued.
“I’m even almost persuaded to believe that Garba Shehu issued the statement. And if he indeed authored the statement, it is highly despicable. It means that there are certain officials in the Presidency who are creating problems for the President.
“We must appreciate the efforts of this president in his fight against insecurity across this country. Insecurity is becoming a national issue; no part of the country is insulated from the crisis.
“His suspicious defence of criminal elements under the guise of herdsmen is most unacceptable and goes a long way to show that Miyetti Allah could not have done better.
“For emphasis, people must differentiate between natural forests and Forest Reserves. What the Ondo State Government has done is to ensure proper regulation of those who are in the reserves and have provided habitation for criminals.
” If Garba Shehu indeed issued that statement, then, he owes the people of this country a great deal of explanation to let people know why he must take up the fight of criminal elements.
“I do not believe by his pedigree that he might want to offer himself as the spokesperson for people masquerading as herdsmen and committing crimes.
“I don’t want to believe he has offered himself as the spokesperson for criminal elements who are operating under herdsmen.”
Ojogo insisted that Shehu’s comment was inimical to the existence of Nigeria.
According to him ” Shehu had stated “unambiguously, the position of the Federal Government.
‘The Ondo State Government did not ask Fulani to leave the state.
“The governor said herdsmen who are unregistered should leave our forests
Ojogo explained security agents have enough facts that victims of kidnappings in the state were being taken into the thick of the forest reserves by criminal elements who have infiltrated the ranks of the Fulani herdsmen who occupy portions of the forest reserves.
He maintained that the state government was bent on clearing the “mess” hence, all herdsmen in the forest reserves must vacate the place before Monday, January 25, 2021.
Ojogo insisted that the herders must obey the seven-day quit order by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu for them to leave the forest reserves in the state.
*** Over 50,000 Farmers have registered in forest reserve— Agric commissioner
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Gboyega Adefarati said that over 50’000 farmers who engage in different forms of agricultural activities in Ondo State Government Forest Reserves have been registered.
Adefarati said that nobody can legally operate on state forest reserves without approval of the state government.
”In retrospect, we have registered over fifty (50,000) thousands farmers who engage in different forms of agricultural activities in Ondo State Government Forest Reserves. With this, we regulate their activities and reduce criminality as we interface daily with farmers.” He added.
Adefarati however revealed any Nigerian irrespective of their tribe can file in their application to operate on the forest reserves.
*** Afenifere blast Federal govt
A statement by the Pan Yoruba Socio-Political Group, Afenifere said ” The intervention by what we mistakenly call the Federal Government of Nigeria on behalf of marauding Fulanis in Ondo state against the lawful government in that state did not come to Afenifere as a surprise as it is in line with non – pretence by this regime that it represents only Fulani interests against those of Yoruba, Igbo, Junkun, Ijaw and other tribes in Nigeria.
Its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin said ” that the Federal Government and it’s minion, Garba Shehu could only hear Ondo stare when Governor Akeredolu was very loud and clear about herders to vacate forest reserves in the state is symptomatic that this Government has a serious problem with heating the rest of us when the issue involves its anointed Fulanis.
“The Fulani criminals have caused untold hardships in Ondo state and other Yoruba towns and cities in recent time and only an irresponsible government that wants to behave like our Federal Government that cares will continue to fold its arms.
” Are Ondo Forest Reserves under Ondo state Government or FG and Miyetti Allah?
“We agree with the Ondo State Government that the insensibility of Garba Shehu violates the corporate existence of Nigeria.
“What has this government done to assure our people that it can protect our lives with the open murders of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, The Olufon of Ifon and the Deputy Registrar of FUTA among many others?
” The lives of our people and other non-Fulani communities are daily being taken by local and foreign Fulani bandits without any sign that these lives matter to the government with its desire to shield the Fulani from the laws.
“Nobody would ever have believed that it would get to this irresponsible stage that the Federal Government will one come to this barbaric level Garba Shehu has taken it and the peak of their direct salvos against Amotekun since it started.
” All true- born Yoruba should stand behind Governor Akeredolu in these trying times.
” He must do all within the law to flush Ondo forests of all criminals. Other GOVERNORS should emulate their chair and free our land from the Fulanis who have surrounded us with the shield of the FG.
Odumakin said “Let them declare open war on behalf of the Fulani and our ancestors will all wake up in their graves.