By Rachael Olokungboye
AKURE – Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo state on Wednesday slammed President Muhammadu Buhari’s opposition to his directive to vacate forest reserves, saying it pointed to a threat to the unity of Nigeria.
TECHNOCRAT MEDIA earlier on Monday reported that Mr. Akeredolu ordered the herdsmen to vacate the forest reserves on the basis that criminal acts were traced to their activities within seven days.
Reacting, Mr. Buhari, in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday, said the governor lacked powers to pursue the herdsmen out of Ondo state forests.
Mr. Akeredolu’s “action could set off a chain of events which the makers of our constitution foresaw and tried to guard against,” the president said.
Mr. Akeredolu’s information commissioner, Donald Ojogo On Wednesday morning expressed his displeasure at Mr. Buhari’s reaction, accusing him of being emotionally attached to the herdsmen.
Mr. Ojogo in a statement said that the president’s response “unambiguously stated the position of the Federal Government on the matter.”
On his Twitter handle, while buttressing Mr. Akeredolu’s order, the commissioner said: “The Ondo State Government did not ask Fulani to leave the state. The governor said herdsmen who are unregistered should leave our forests.
“The statement from Garba Shehu is a brazen display of emotional attachments and it’s very inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
“We need clearly defined actions on the part of the Federal Government to decimate the erroneous impression that the inspiration of these criminal elements masquerading as herdsmen is that of power. Our unity is threatened, no doubt.
“Garba’s statement states in a breath that the governor fights crime with passion while it is prevaricating on the atrocities.
“The question is, are the herdsmen who are perpetrating murder, kidnapping, and robbery more important than government and even the Federal government in this case?
“Ethnic nationality and activism on the part of anyone hiding under the Presidency or federal government is an ill wind.”
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