Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has reportedly issued a seven days ultimatum to herdsmen to immediately vacate forest reserves within the State. Akeredolu, who expressed annoyance over the nefarious activities of the herdsmen across the state on Monday, during an interactive meeting with the leadership of the Hausa/Fulani and Ebira Communities in the state, stated that his administration will not fold its arms and allow a few individuals to turn the State into a haven of dare-devil criminals. During the meeting held at the Cocoa conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka in Akure, Akeredolu, who spoke tough on the activities of the criminal elements in the state said security reports and debriefings from victims of kidnap cases pointed in one direction traceable to some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen.
He also announced a ban on the movement of cattle within cities and highways in the state, while also outlawing under-aged grazing of cattle.
Akeredolu also added that they have turned forest reserves in the state and across the South-west into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom and carrying out other criminal activities.
“We have cases of several attacks on our people by these mindless elements. You will recall the gruesome murder of one of the members of the Ondo State Traditional Council who was caught in the web of their devious plans of these workers of evil on his way back to his domain.
“While we were still grieving, other kidnap attempts were made on the lives of road users across the state, especially along our boundaries and hinterland.
“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.
“Recent security trends attest that these times require all hands to be on the deck as the difficulties we face are dire. The challenges are quite enormous but we are determined to confront them head-on.
“We decided that all the criminal elements who hide under various guises to aid the destruction of farmlands as well as perpetrate other violent crimes such as kidnapping, drug peddling and other nefarious activities must be stamped out of our dear State.
“Our resolution to guarantee the safety of lives and property within the state shall remain utmost as security agencies have been directed to enforce the ban,” he said.