*Miyetti National Chairman already in Akure
*Meetings not unusual, says Ojogo, Ondo Information Commissioner
By Dayo Johnson—AKURE
The Presidency has brokered a parley between the South-West governors and the leadership of the Miyetti Allah in a bid to find a solution to the crisis in the region occasioned by clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
Vanguard gathered that the meeting is scheduled to hold in Akure, Ondo State capital on Monday, January 25.
Recall that the seven-day ultimatum given to herdsmen to vacate the state government forest reserves ends same day as the meeting.
Top government source in one of the South-West states said: “The Presidency has been disturbed with the turn of events in the South-West and has secretly directed the leadership of Miyetti Allah to hold an urgent meeting with governors of the region.”
The source said the Presidency noticed the determination of Ondo State government and Rotimi Akeredolu to execute the ultimatum to the letter and had to design a way to appeal to him and the South-West governors before the ultimatum ends.
The meeting, the source told Vanguard, “was organised between the South-West governors and the Miyetti Allah in a bid to stave off a major conflict between herders occupying the South-West region.
Confirming the meeting to newsmen, Ondo State Chairman of Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Bello Garba, said the national leadership of the body have arrived in the state capital for the peace meeting.
Garba said: “The National Chairman of Miyetti Allah is in town and I cannot talk about what we want to discuss at the meeting. But I can assure you that we are going to address you tomorrow after the meeting.
“The meeting is to find peace and lasting solution and I am optimistic that the interface between the South-West governors and Miyetti Allah would engender the restoration of the most desired peaceful co-existence, unity and development in the region.
“We intend to work closely with the governors in this region to unmask criminals who masquerade as cattle breeders to inflict mayhem on innocent citizens.
“That is why we have decided to embark on peaceful approach by meeting with the governors.”
A media aide to one of the governors told Vanguard that his principal would attend the meeting.
The aide said: “The whole thing was about the misconception. We all know the Presidency misinterpreted the Ondo State government’s directive.
“They took it to mean a total action which intended to clear the state if all herders.
“And while admitting that the spokesman to Mr. President acted harshly and without proper authorisation, they (Presidency) have reached out to other governors to facilitate a meeting where the leadership of Miyetti Allah would likely plead for time to comply with the directive.”
On his part, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, merely said meetings are not unusual.
His words: “Well, meetings of that nature, if true, are not unusual. We are all in it together. No ethnic group or a particular trade is the target of the government order.
“So it will be a welcome development if the meeting is holding. There is nothing too unusual about it.”