Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who spoke during an interview on Politics Today on Channels Television, said: “What we expect from Mr. President is for him to come out and let Nigerians know that he does not support criminality.
“He once said, ‘if you find anybody with arms without a license, they should be arrested. Security agencies must be at work without rest.’ Everyone has said no to open grazing, then the law should follow.”
Speaking on the Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, Akeredolu described him as “a child of circumstance, and we must look at the circumstances that led to his intervention.
“I do not support people taking the law into their hands. I do not support illegality. Those circumstances might not be legal, but when you look at it, you’ll know he is a child of circumstance.”
The governor said most of the criminal herdsmen apprehended in Ondo State spoke Fulfude (Fulani language).
His words: “Essentially, in Ondo State, we discovered criminal herdsmen who were using our forest reserves to perpetrate crimes and we said look we cannot stay by and watch things happen this way.
“People were kidnapped. We’ve been debriefed by all of them, and we know people who took them.
“If you’re not licensed to be in the forest, then you’ll be taken to be doing illegal ventures, that’s where we stand.
“My duty does not include profiling those who come into the country, but all I know is that those perpetrating these crimes speak a common language.
“Whether they are foreigners or from here, it is a matter for the police to go after them and identify them.
“What we heard from those who have been debriefed is that they spoke the language that was clear to them. Most of them were speaking Fulfulde and that is clear, this is a common language spoken in West Africa and some part of North Africa, so how did they come here?.
‘’One of our major problems is when we have issues of this nature, and we have Miyeti Allah. If they are not your members, there is no need to defend them.”
On the justification of Governor Bala Muhammed of Bauchi State that herdsmen should carry arms, Akeredolu said “Bala Mohammed has not spoken like a statesman. How can you come out to say people should come out and carry firearms (AK-47) when it is illegal, people are not licensed to carry guns?
“Bala Mohammed has only added more petrol to the fire. No governor should speak that way. So, I should ask my people to carry guns? Statements like that must be condemned and I condemn it.”