*says Ondo State facing serious security challenges
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams has described the statement by the Presidency on the 7 days aultimatum to herders in forest reserves in Ondo state illegally as threat to security issues in the state
The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland in a statement on Thursday by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi said Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has the right to protect the lives and property of the citizenry of his state as well as resist attempt to turn the reserved forest to herders’ abode or ranch.
He lamented that it was unfortunate that the presidency that failed to address the security situation across the country could be coming out with such a position at this crucial period.
“Mallam Garba Shehu’s statement is a threat to the sanctity of the state and a deliberate attempt to work against the state government’s interest, especially, on issue of security. Mallam Garba Shehu/Presidency apparently doesn’t know the meaning of a reserved forests. It’s not accessible except to authorized personnel / loggers”, he said
Iba Gani Adams noted, “apart from the place being a place for valued cash trees, it’s also meant as a haven of safety for protected animals against poachers. The herdsmen living in the forest are not only unauthorized, they would likely cut down trees to make fires and must also kill animals for food”.
” Akeredolu as the governor is the Chief Security Officer of the state and he has the right under the 1999 Nigerian constitution as amended to protect the lives and property of the citizenry, and also resist any attempt to turn the reserved forest to herders’ abode or ranch.”
The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland maintained “a reserved forest is not a place of residence for anyone, not even Ondo indigenes or farmers”, saying,”it is most unfortunate that such a statement is coming directly from the presidency, who according to the constitution, has the prerogative to protect the lives and property of citizens in the country now looking for ways to foil the good plans and intentions of the state government to get rid of the bad elements that are masquerading as herders and pastorists in the state.”
He emphasized that the reserved forests were meant to be the heritage of the state, and not for herders or pastorists,”, adding, “we are all a witness to the various security challenges in Ondo state.The governor’s convoy was attacked on two occasions.Two prominent Obas in the state have been kidnapped on different occasions”.
“The security situation in the state is always nightmarish because it was in Ondo state that a first class monarch was killed by bandits masquerading as Fulani herdsmen. It was also in Ondo state that a university lecturer was abducted,it was in Ondo state that the daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti was murdered, even chief Olu Falae’s farm was invaded on four occasions, leading to the death of one of our members, who was a security man.”
He added that “these sad events and several others largedly showed that the state is in serious security challenges and it is in the interest of the state for Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to respond swiftly to the various security challenges”.
“I am from Akoko North West in Ondo state, all our reserved forests have been taken over illegally by these illegal residents. So the governor’s decision is in the right direction and it is in the interest of the state. I am now using this opportunity to call on all Yoruba sons and daughters to support all the governors in the southwest in their fight against insurgency across the region.”