Rotimi Akeredolu
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of |Ondo State

OBINNA EZUGWU

In bid to check rising spate of kidnapping and banditry perpetrated by herders in Ondo State,  the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has ordered all herdsmen residing in the state’s forest reserves to vacate within seven days.

The governor who issued the order in a statement on Monday, also banned night grazing in the state with immediate effect, while prohibiting movement of cattle within the cities and along the highways.

“We have taken major steps at addressing the root cause of kidnapping, in particular, and other nefarious activities detailed and documented in security reports, the press and debriefings from victims of kidnap cases in Ondo State,” Akeredolu said.

“These unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen. These felons have turned our forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom and carrying out other criminal activities.

“As the Chief Law and Security Officer of the State, it is my constitutional obligation to do everything lawful to protect the lives and property of all residents of the State. In light of the foregoing, the following orders are hereby issued:
1. All Forest Reserves in the State are to be vacated by herdsmen within the next 7 days with effect from today, Monday 18th January, 2021.
2. Night-grazing is banned with immediate effect because most farm destruction takes place at night.
3. Movement of cattle within cities and highways is prohibited.
4. Under-aged grazing of cattle is outlawed.

“In its usual magnanimity, our administration will give a grace period of seven days for those who wish to carry on with their cattle-rearing business to register with appropriate authorities. Our resolution to guarantee safety of lives and property within the State shall remain utmost as security agencies have been directed to enforce the ban.”