As one way to put an end to the repeated clashes between herders and farmers, the Ekiti State Government has announced that it will play a key role in the Federal Government’s National Livestock Transformation Plan by creating a gated ranch in the state.
This development was coming barely three days after suspected herdsmen killed two farmers in Isaba-Ekiti, Ikole Local Government Area of the state.
In a statement, on Monday, by the Information Commissioner, Akin Omole, the government noted it would not allow the killing of farmers and residents of the state by criminal herders who are hibernating in the farms to perpetrate evils against citizens in the state.
According to him, the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has given the police and the Amotekun corps within 24 hours to comb forests in the Local Government Area and secure it from further attacks.
The government reiterated the recent resolution from the peace meeting between the governors and leadership of Miyetti Allah in Akure, the Ondo State capital as regards the ban on underage, night and open grazing in the state.
Omole said: “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.
“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.
The state is also making alternative arrangements for enclosed grazing/ranching under the National Livestock Transformation Plan in the state.
“The Government of Ekiti State places great value on the safety of lives and property of its residents. While we will continue to promote the peaceful coexistence of all law-abiding Nigerians irrespective of ethnic or religious background, the 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.”
The Commissioner explained that security agents in the state would enforce the latest directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on those going about with dangerous weapons.
“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,” he said.
The government advised residents of Isaba-Ekiti to support the security agents with useful information that would help in arresting the criminal elements, adding that, “they should continue to go about their lawful businesses; we remain committed to protecting lives and property.”