The Aare-ona-kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams has thrown his weight behind the quit notice given by Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu to killer herdsmen living in forest reserves located within the state.
Reacting to the development, Adams stated that the governor has the backing of relevant portions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to issue the order as the state’s chief security officer.
Akeredolu had on Monday, gave a seven-day ultimatum to herders to vacate the forests following growing insecurity allegedly perpetrated by the pastoralists.
In its reaction, the Presidency however maintained that asking the herders to vacate the reserved forests could set off a chain of events which the constitution anticipated and tried to guard against.
But Adams, in a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Aderemi, said his backing for the governor is sequel to the inability of the presidency to address the security situation across the country.
He described the statement by Garba Shehu as a threat to the sanctity of the state, and a deliberate attempt to work against the government’s interest, especially, on security.
“Garba Shehu/Presidency apparently doesn’t know the meaning of reserved forests. It’s not accessible except to authorised personnel/loggers. Apart from the place being a place for valued cash trees, it’s also meant as a haven of safety for protected animals.
“Herdsmen living in the forest are not only unauthorised, they would likely fell trees to make fire, and also kill animals for food.
“A reserved forest is not a place of residence for anyone, not even Ondo indigenes or farmers. It is most unfortunate that such a statement is coming directly from the presidency, which, according to the constitution, has the prerogative to protect the lives and property of citizens. But it is a pity the presidency now looks for ways to foil the good plans and intentions of the state to rid bad elements masquerading as herders and pastoralists.
“I am from Akoko North West in Ondo State; all our reserved forests have been taken over by these illegal residents. So the governor’s decision is in the right direction and in the state’s interest.
“I call on all Yoruba sons and daughters to support governors in the Southwest in their fight against insurgency across the region.”