The Ondo State Council of Obas, on Thursday, called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to caution his aides who comment on security of the country.
The traditional rulers were reacting to a statement credited to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, over an ultimatum Governor Rotimi Akeredolu gave to herdsmen to leave forest reserves in the state.
In a communiqué issued and read by a former Chairman of the council and the Olukare of Ikareland, Oba Akadiri Momoh, at the end of a meeting in Akure, the monarchs said Akeredolu’s action was not to chase out the Fulani in the state but to save it from the activities of the bandits.
The monarchs said, “We are calling on President Buhari to show to the world that he is a father of all irrespective of ethnic affiliation as well as caution his aides to exercise restraints on issues that border on insecurity in the country.
“The governors in the South-West region, the South-West caucus in the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly should use constitutional means to rein in the rampaging criminals masquerading as herdsmen across the region.”
Akeredolu had on Monday ordered Fulani herdsmen to vacate all forest reserves in the state within seven days.
Apart from ejecting the herdsmen, the governor also banned underage grazing, night grazing, movement of cattle within the cities and highways.
He had said, “Today, we have taken major steps at addressing the root cause of kidnapping, in particular, and other nefarious activities detailed and documented in security reports, the press, and debriefings from victims of kidnap cases in Ondo State.
“As the chief law and security officer of the state, it is my constitutional obligation to do everything lawful to protect the lives and property of all residents of the state. In light of the foregoing, the following orders are hereby issued: All forest reserves in the state are to be vacated by herdsmen within the next seven days with effect from today, Monday, January 18, 2021.”
Reacting to Akeredolu’s order, Shehu said the order could not stand because it is a violation of the constitution which gives citizens the right to choose where they wish to reside.