Ekiti, Ondo deploy Amotekun in forests, boundaries against herdsmen attacks
Post created on 11:37 am
South-West states including Ekiti, Ondo and Osun on Sunday said they had deployed Western Nigeria Security Network, Amotekun corps, in their forests and boundaries to check killer herdsmen.
The state, however, differed on the presence of killer herdsmen in the forests of the region.
While the Ekiti State Government in an interview said there were no killer herdsmen in the state forests, Ondo and Osun states explained their efforts to rid their forests of herdsmen.
But all the states said they had deployed Amotekun corps to their forests and boundaries with other states to check infiltration of killer herdsmen.
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, had on January 18 issued a seven-day ultimatum to herdsmen to vacate the state’s forest reserves.
Although Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria, initially opposed the order, at a meeting its leaders had with Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Akeredolu, the cattle breeders accepted the Ondo State Government’s directive.
Besides the order that the herdsmen should vacate forest reserves, Akeredolu also banned movement of cattle along the highways and within the cities, night grazing and underage grazing.
Other states in the South-West have adopted the policy of Akeredolu, who is the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum.
On Sunday, the Special adviser to Ekiti State Governor on Security Matters, Brigadier General Ebenezar Ogundana (retd.), said that killer herdsmen were not in Ekiti forests.
Ogundana said, “We don’t have them in our forests for now. We are going round all our forests and what we hear is that ‘they are coming’. Anybody that knows where they are in the forests should alert us. We have not got any call from anywhere.”
He said that the issue of killers in the forests had been checked, saying, “Operatives of Amotekun and other security agencies are watching the boundaries with neighbouring states. We have our own contingency plan. We have additional outfit, Operation Flush, which sees to what is happening in the forests and the highways.”
Also, the Commander, Ekiti Amotekun Corps, Brigadier General Joe Komolafe (retd.), said operatives of the agency were working to ensure the forests and indeed the state were consistently free of killers.
Komolafe said, “We are monitoring all the forests. We are carrying out patrols and monitoring of events. We liaise with the Amotekun Corps in Ondo and Osun states to tell us movements so that we can have early movements.”
The corps commander said the agency was also collaborating with traditional rulers across the state, “so that if they see any strange face or movement in the bush, they should tell us.
“There are security agencies everywhere in all the local governments. Men of the DSS (Department of State Services), police, civil defence and vigilante, we liaise with all of them,” Komolafe said.