President Muhammadu Buhari needs to come clean about whether or not he supports criminality when carried out by Fulanis, Ondo governor Rotimi Akeredolu says.
The Ondo governor urged Buhari to be impartial in his handling of the atrocities of killer Fulani herdsmen by making his position known to Nigerians that he is not supporting their criminality.
Akeredolu, who is also the chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum said this in an interview on Channels Television on Tuesday.
“What we expect from Mr President is for him to come out and let Nigerians know that he does not support criminality,” Akeredolu said.
“He once said, if you find anybody with arms without a licence, they should be arrested. Security agencies must be at work without rest. Everyone has said no to open grazing, then the law should follow.”
The governor also accused Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and Bauchi governor Bala Mohammed of taking sides with the criminal herders despite the atrocities they allegedly commit in the South-West and other parts of the country.
“One of our major problems is when we have issues of this nature, and we have Miyeti Allah,” Akeredolu said.
“If they are not your members, there is no need to defend them. Bala Mohammed has not spoken like a statesman.
“How can you come out to say people should come out and carry firearms (AK-47) when it is illegal, people are not licensed to carry guns?
“Bala Mohammed has only added more petrol to the fire. No governor should speak that way, so I should ask my people to carry guns? Statements like that must be condemned and I condemn it.”
Akeredolu went further to describe self-acclaimed Yoruba rights activist Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, as “a child of circumstance, and we must look at the circumstances that led to his intervention.”
“I do not support people taking the law into their hands. I do not support illegality. Those circumstances might not be legal, but when you look at it, you’ll know we are a child of circumstance.”
He added that most of the criminal herdsmen caught in Ondo State were speaking “Fulfude”.
“Essentially in Ondo State is our discovery of criminal herdsmen who were using our forest reserve to perpetrate crimes and we said look we cannot stay by and watch things happen this way.
“People were kidnapped. We’ve been debriefed by all of them, and we know people who took them. If you’re not licenced to be in the forest, then you’ll be taken to be doing illegal ventures, that’s where we stand.
“My duty does not include profiling those who come into the country, but all I know is that those perpetrating these crimes speak a common language. Whether they are foreigners or from here, it is a matter of the police to go after them and identify them.
“What we had from those who have been debriefed is that they spoke the language that was clear to them. Most of them were speaking Fulfulde and that is clear, this is a common language spoken across the length and breadth particularly in West Africa and some part of North Africa, so how did they come here?”