Ekiti, Ondo deploy Amotekun in forests, boundaries against herdsmen
South-West states including Ekiti, Ondo and Osun on Sunday said they had deployed Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun corps, in their forests and boundaries to check killer herdsmen.
The state, however, differed on the presence of killer herdsmen in the forests of the region.
While the Ekiti State Government in an interview with The PUNCH said there were no killer herdsmen in the state forests, Ondo and Osun states explained their efforts to rid their forests of herdsmen.
But all the states said they had deployed Amotekun corps to their forests and boundaries with other states to check infiltration of killer herdsmen.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, had on January 18 issued a seven-day ultimatum to herdsmen to vacate the state’s forest reserves.
Although Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria, initially opposed the order, at a meeting its leaders had with Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Akeredolu, the cattle breeders accepted the Ondo State Government’s directive.
Besides the order that the herdsmen should vacate forest reserves, Akeredolu also banned movement of cattle along the highways and within the cities, night grazing and underage grazing.
Other states in the South-West have adopted the policy of Akeredolu, who is the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum.
On Sunday, the Special adviser to Ekiti State Governor on Security Matters, Brigadier General Ebenezar Ogundana (retd.), said that killer herdsmen were not in Ekiti forests.
Ogundana said, “We don’t have them in our forests for now. We are going round all our forests and what we hear is that ‘they are coming’. Anybody that knows where they are in the forests should alert us. We have not got any call from anywhere.”
He said that the issue of killers in the forests had been checked, saying, “Operatives of Amotekun and other security agencies are watching the boundaries with neighbouring states. We have our own contingency plan. We have additional outfit, Operation Flush, which sees to what is happening in the forests and the highways.”