Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has said the various criminal activities of kidnapping, bombing and assault on the people in some parts of the country being referred to as banditry must be appropriately addressed as terrorism.

This was contained in a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olabode.

At the same time, the governor has said the southern states have no apologies for putting in place anti-open grazing law.

In the statement released yesterday after the governor spoke at the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit held in Abuja with the theme: “Securing Our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now.”

Akeredolu noted that the infiltration of the country’s borders and burning down of railway were activities that must be addressed as terrorism and the perpetrators treated as same, contending that a nation with failed security and justice systems was set to fail.

“In Ondo State, we don’t have terrorism. Our problem is farmer/herder clashes and kidnap for ransom. We have drug abuse and agitation for self determination. We have always preached the multi-level policing in Ondo State. We believe in layers of security,” he said.

Akeredolu, who explained that although there are criminal trespasses which can be treated by the state, stressed that before the Amotekun corps was established, the police were not always ready to make arrest.

“Yes, you have criminal trespass. It should be treated by the state. All we had before Amotekun was a police that had the duty to arrest and was not prepared to make an arrest. Things are changing and have really changed in Ondo state.

“Today, if you trespass on other people’s land, the Amotekun will go after you and arrest you. They pay compensations to the farmers and when they fail they are in court. It is the only way you can send signals to the people.

“When you commit a crime and the hands of law doesn’t catch up with you, another person will repeat it. I can assure you that when you do not have an effective policing system, there is little or nothing a governor can do. And the criminal trial is taking too long,” he said.

On the recent ban on open grazing, Akeredolu said nomadic pastoralist was a culture that must be discouraged in the interest of those involved.

He noted that the issue of grazing routes was not a welcome conversation, adding that those were issue of the past that must not be brought back to the fore.

“Speaking for those of us who have put in place anti-open grazing law. We have our reasons and we have no apologies. Grazing routes? Grazing routes to where? It is not going to work. There are things we had in the past. Don’t let us imagine it now. Time changes. Grazing with AK 47 is an assault. Ban on open grazing, we are doing it effective in Ondo State.

“Nomadic pastoralist is not a new thing. There were nomadic farmers all over the world. I know of people, high ranking who have ranches today. They can showcase their cows. Why are we pushing these people out. It is a culture that must be discouraged in the interest of those who are involved. Even with the President order that anyone with Ak47 should be arrested, how many have been arrested?” he asked.

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