By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Apparently disturbed by the Herders/Farmers clashes in Ekiti farmlands, with particular reference to the last week killing of two farmers at Isaba-Ekiti in Ikole Local Government Area of the state by people suspected to be herdsmen, the Ekiti State Government on Monday resolved to opt for enclosed grazing/ranching in order to have peace in the state.
The deceased farmers are dentified as Toyin Akeju a. k. a Jisoro, and Mr. Yusuf Onoche a. k. a Owala.
In a statement signed and made available by the State Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation,Hon. Akin Omole to newsmen yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital said the state is also making alternative arrangements for enclosed grazing/ranching under the National Livestock Transformation Plan in the state.
Omole also in the statement said that the State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has directed the Ekiti State Command of the Nigeria Police and Amotekun corps to mobilize troops within 24 hours to comb the forests in Ikole LGA and secure the area from further attacks.
According to the statement, the Governor also directed the Commissioner of Police to commence investigation immediately to apprehend the culprits responsible for the dastardly act and bring them to justice.
The statement read in parts:”Following Mr. Governor’s condolence and fact finding visit to the affected community on Sunday, and based on intelligence available to us, it is clear that the Ikole/Oye axis of the state is vulnerable to incursions of criminally minded elements who want to take advantage of the forest topography to visit unmitigated terror on farming communities in the area. We will not allow this to happen.
“The Government of Ekiti State places great value on the safety of lives and properties of its residents. While we will continue to promote peaceful coexistence of all law-abiding Nigerians irrespective of ethnic or religious background, government will not condone acts of mindless violence that creates fear amongst our people or deter them from going about their lawful duties in safety on their farms or in their communities.
“We reiterate that in consonance with the recent Akure peace meeting and joint communiqué issued between Southwest Governors and the Miyetti Allah, open/night grazing and underage herding remain banned in Ekiti State.
“Similarly, in line with Mr. President’s recent directive, anyone armed with automatic weapons found in Ekiti forests will be considered a dangerous criminal and treated accordingly by security operatives.
“Accordingly, residents of the affected communities are requested to please assist the security agencies with useful information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of the crime. We would like to reassure Ekiti Kete that they should continue to go about their lawful businesses; we remain committed to protecting lives and property.