The Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde on Wednesday warned an acclaimed freedom fighter in the state, Chief Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho and other Yoruba youths over recent 7-day ultimatum quit notice given to Fulani residents in the state.
Makinde said enemies of Oyo State are neither the Hausa-Fulani pastoralists, who are looking for pasture for their flock nor the farmers, who are seeking to produce food for human consumption.
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Igboho, had in a radio interview claimed that the Fulani herders possessed more sophisticated weapons than the operatives of the Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun and they have to leave because of consistent killings and kidnapping in Ibarapa Local Government Area of the State.
However, Governor Seyi Makinde warned Igboho and other individuals issuing ultimatum to Fulani residents in the state to desist from such acts, declaring that as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, he, as governor, would protect every Nigerian’s rights to reside in any part of the country.
Governor Makinde, who made the declaration in a state-wide broadcast to residents of the state, aired on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), asked residents to come together and put the interest of Oyo State first in the fight against insecurity.
The state government has also expressed its determination to stamp out brigandage, kidnapping and other violent crimes.
According to the governor, the state has a common enemy in hoodlums, bandits and kidnappers, who, he said, have been fomenting troubles in the state.
He noted that the enemies of Oyo State are neither the Hausa-Fulani pastoralists, who are looking for pasture for their flock nor the farmers, who are seeking to produce food for human consumption.
The governor equally acknowledged the efforts of some officers of the Nigeria Police Force who, according to him, have resumed their constitutional duties of maintaining law and order in the state, even as he encouraged the leadership of the Police to continue to collaborate with his administration to secure the state.
He said: “The past few weeks’ events have made it imperative that I address issues that have to do with the internal security of our dear state.
“We cannot overlook the fact that there have indeed been instances that cause concern. The fragile peace between the herdsmen and farmers in Oke Ogun is being threatened.
“Individuals who are not authorised are going around chasing people from their homes and causing mayhem. This assault on residents of Oyo State is not the way to further the Yoruba cause.
“Let me state that we shall not sit back and watch anyone make any law-abiding resident of Oyo State feel unsafe in their homes, farms, or business places. We are aware of some people circulating flyers and giving people ultimatums to leave their land. This is totally unacceptable and will not be condoned.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which I swore to defend and protect, guarantees freedom of movement in Section 41(1), such that citizens are free to reside in any part of the country without fear. We are determined to preserve that right in Oyo State.”
The governor called on local government chairpersons, traditional rulers and other sectors of the state to work with the security agencies to secure the state and ensure maximum peace.
“Let me also use this medium to speak to our traditional rulers. They must not be part of any plans to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of residents of Oyo State.
“I must reiterate that we will not hesitate to take appropriate action against any individuals who try to disrupt the peace in Oyo State. Our administration is taking all necessary steps to protect the good people of Oyo State from harassment, thuggery and banditry. We believe we have the situation under control.
“It is time for us to come together and put the interests of our state first. We have a common enemy. That enemy is not the Hausa- Fulani who is looking for pasture for his flock. It is not the farmer who just wants to grow food to sell in the market or to feed his family. Our enemies are the hoodlums, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers and bandits. These people live among us.
“With our collective efforts, we can continue to keep the peace in Oyo State. Together, we can preserve the secure environment that has contributed to the growth of our economy.”