Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has said that President Muhammadu Buhari directed governors to ensure people do not block “cattle routes” in their states.
This was as the Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba land, Dr Gani Adams has called on members of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, to be vigilant and watchful against the illegal activities of the herdsmen, who attack and kill innocent people across the country. Fayose, while quoting the president, said: “People are building houses to block cattle routes.”
However, when contacted on the matter, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Mallam Garba Shehu said the Presidency will not dignify the Ekiti governor with a response. Fayose, who was speaking during a programme on Ekiti State Television, EKTV, said Buhari made the comments during the Federal Executive Council meeting “last week.”
Fayose said the president has not done enough to tackle the continuous clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country, adding that “If I were to be president of Nigeria, I will not act the way President Buhari is behaving (regarding the crisis).” He said similar incidents have happened in countries like Ghana and “they took decisive decision.”
He said: “The president must be courageous enough to end these mindless killings. He is the president and has what it takes. If I am the president, I will take appropriate steps and stand it down. A criminal is a criminal, whether Hausa man or Yoruba man. If you commit crime, you go in for it.”
“I remember when we were in a meeting last week; the president was saying that people are blocking cattle routes. Have you heard that before? How can the president say people are blocking cattle routes?”
There is no cattle route in Ekiti in the 21st century. “The president of Nigeria was saying governors should go and make sure they don’t block cattle routes. He said people are building houses to block cattle routes. I was laughing; I didn’t know what to say in council. I just left.”