Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has warned that there could be reprisal attacks on Fulani herdsmen in the state if they do not desist from invading communities in Ekiti and attacking the people.
He called the Fulani herdsmen that invaded Oke-Ako in Ikole Local Government area of the state on Friday, killing two residents of the town and injuring others as “agents of the devil that must be fished out and punished accordingly.”
Fayose, who commiserated with the people of Oke-Ako, especially the family of the deceased, vowed to do everything humanly possible to forestall the reoccurrence of such attack and safeguard the lives of Ekiti people.
A statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said the Fulani herdsmen were becoming major threat to the unity of Nigeria and its people, saying; “I will not fold my hands while armed herdsmen invade communities in Ekiti, killing people and destroying farmlands at will as they have done in other states.
“I have directed the police and other security agencies in the state to fish out the killer herdsmen. I am in constant touch with the security agencies and I hope that the killer herdsmen will be fished out wherever they are and made to face the full wrath of the law.
“The people of Oke-Ako should, therefore, remain calm while the security agents do their job. However, the security agents must be mindful of the fact that the people’s patience has a limit and they must therefore act promptly and decisively.”
The governor, who described activities of the Fulani Herdsmen as inimical to the revival of agriculture in the country said; “Farmlands costing billions of naira have been destroyed in states in the South-West, South-East and North-Central zones of the country.
“One wonders how Nigerians can go back to farming when those already in the farms are losing billions of naira worth of crops to destruction of their farmlands by the Fulani Herdsmen and the Federal Government is not doing anything about it.”
He said; “I am sounding a note of warning to the Fulani herdsmen and those who can talk to them should also do so now. If they continue with these wanton attacks, killing of the people and destruction of farmlands in Ekiti, I cannot guarantee that there won’t be reprisal attacks.
“I can also not guarantee the level that the reprisal attacks can get to because as a governor, it is my responsibility to defend and protect my people.”
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop paying lips service to the Fulani herdsmen’s menace, saying “as patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), President Buhari has the capacity to call the herdsmen to order.
“President Buhari should, therefore, call his people to order because this is Ekiti; our people have the rights to defend themselves.
“Most importantly, President Buhari must be reminded of how he was so concerned about the killing of Fulani herdsmen in Saki, Oke Ogun Area of Oyo State such that he, as a private citizen, led Arewa to Ibadan on October 13, 2000, to confront the then Governor of Oyo State, late Alhaji Lam Adesina.”