Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has told Serikin Fulani in the state, Muhammed Abashe, that he fight back if any killing of Ekiti people occurs again in the state.
The governor, who was furious about the recent killing of a Tiv woman in Orin Ekiti by people suspected to be Fulani herders, said Abashe had failed in providing leadership by not stopping his kinsmen from destroying farms and attacking residents under slightest provocation.
Fayose said this on Saturday at a peace meeting with Fulani herdsmen under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, farmers, local hunters, security agencies and representatives of the Tiv community in Ado Ekiti.
He said, “If you (Fulani herders) still want to stay among us, you must accept the responsibility to ensure that none of our peoples’ farms is destroyed by herdsmen any longer. None of our people must be killed by your men, either they are strangers or those herdsmen living among us.
“If any killing or destruction of farms of our people occurs again in that area, I will ensure that I use the law to fight you their leader on it. This is the last warning I am giving you” he said.
The governor said the activities of the Fulani herders had continued to stain the names of President Muhammadu Buhari and other notable fulani leaders in the country.
He said, “This killing is giving Fulani people a bad name. If there are no good people among them, how would General Buhari rise to be president? There are doctors, lawyers, engineers and other notable professionals among you. This is denting their names. The greatest of men are the peace makers.
“Even though President Buhari does not send people to kill, it is spoiling his name. We are to make sure the killing stops.”
The governor said he would not compromise in his efforts to shield the state from the menace of the herders.
He promised to enter into partnership to increase surveillance in the state.
“We won’t be intimidated by the terror of the few. The moment you are caught, you will face the law. The killing by fulani is worse than Boko Haram. We want one Nigeria because we have gone far. Anyone harbouring criminals will not know peace. Enough is enough! Life is sacred and must be treated as such.”
“I’m calling on the federal government to be firm, when actions are taken against this mindless individuals, this killing will stop. It is because they are taking it like a family affairs; this is not in the interest of Nigeria. Ordinary Nigerians can’t carry AK47 or pump action.
“I want you to go back home believing in one Nigeria. These are activities of criminals notwithstanding their ethnic background.”
Fayose mandated the herders to register in their location within the next three months for identity and to who to hold responsible for any issue that comes up at any location.
“Many of the Fulani herdsmen who settled down here did so without permission from anyone. No one can be living with us and we – their host – would not know who they are.
“They said some are strangers who only come briefly but we don’t want that. Now, they would register with government for a token of N5,000.
“It is not their money that we need but their identity and locality. The sum of N5,000 would be renewable after a year.
“We are sending a bill to the state assembly which would be that anyone caught and found guilty of harbouring dangerous Fulani herdsmen would be jailed for five years without an option of fine.
“So, I urge every residents in Ekiti to report anyone or stranger who is suspected to be a killer Fulani herdsman.”