The Secretary-General of the Pan Yoruba Socio-Political Group, Afenifere, Chief Sehinde Arogbofa hailed governor Akeredolu’s decision to flush out criminals in the state’s forest.
Arogbofa said governor Akeredolu has taken the right steps because “Illegal people have virtually taken over our lands in the state”.
“Akeredolu is on the right path especially if the occupation of those places or any place in the state is inimical to the development of the state, Akeredolu as the Chief Security officer of the state can exercise this power.
“Akeredolu has shown to be a true Nigerians when he said that any of the herdsmen who want to stay in any part of the state must first of all register.
“You can’t just come from nowhere to occupy somebody’s land without his authority. A desperate disease needs a desperate remedy”
“The rate of kidnapping in this state is very embarrassing to the extent that one cannot leave one’s house without serious prayers to return home safely. Illegal people have virtually taken over our lands in the state. I must confess that the governor has felt concerned.
“Some of our traditional rulers had given outlands to people without authority, to people who they cannot trace and who is alleged to be a suspicious character, people straining from the Niger Republic without legal rights.
“I think we have to credit Mr. Governor for saying that any landowners or traditional rulers caught plotting with these marauders or sell lands to them without authority would be seriously dealt with”
“It is also very disturbing that there are kidnappers in these forests and hideout in our lands. My question has always been this that which land in Ondo has not gotten an owner?
“I think we have to be more realistic with what is happening in the state and people have to cooperate with the government to reduce the rate of kidnapping and killing in the state.
“While appreciating the governor, I will further like to suggest that as done sometimes ago between Okene and Lokoja, some six or seven years ago, while kidnappers were hiding within the forest in the area.
“The state government can still spend some little money in hiring labourers to clear the bush of about 250 meters on both sides of the road so that any kidnappers or bandit could easily be detected from distance and they will not have anywhere to hide.
“The road should be fixed too, especially from Akure to Owo, while Owo to Akokoland should be taken care of and Owo /Ifon road. The state government can start with this now”
When asked if the vacation order is not an infringement on their right of the herdsmen, Arogbofa said “I think Akeredolu has made it clear that these people occupying these lands illegally and he has given a caveat that anybody who wants to stay in the forest should come and register. Unless they want to tell us that they are people perpetrating these evils or knew about it.
“We are trying to find a solution and I think the governor is just trying to be magnanimous or how can a first traditional ruler be so cruelly killed without any consequences. It’s never in the history of this state.
“I think the governor is being kind in giving them a week, they have occupied this place illegally and they are killing. Those who are kicking against the order should be made to answer for all these killings. Akeredolu is very understanding in giving them a whole week, not just a day”