Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State in southwestern Nigeria has ordered herdsmen to vacate all the state’s forest reserves within the next seven days.
The governor in a series of tweet on Monday said the steps are aimed at addressing “the root cause of kidnapping and other nefarious activities detailed and documented in security reports, the press and debriefings from victims of kidnap cases in Ondo State”.
“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,” the governor tweeted on Monday.
“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:
“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.
“Night-grazing is banned with immediate effect because most farm destruction takes place at night.
“Movement of cattle within cities and highways is prohibited. Under-aged grazing of cattle is outlawed.
“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.
“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.”
By Abel Ejikeme