Babatunde Mobayo, the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, has said the command is ready to enforce the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari against those carrying AK 47 rifles illegally.
Mobayo said the Police in Ekiti is resolute to restore peace between warring farmers and herdsmen, using the instrumentality of the law to arbitrate when necessary in order to halt ethnic tension in the state.
This came as the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Ekiti chapter, agreed that the establishment of ranches will help in resolving the lingering crises between the two groups.
President Buhari had last week given the directive that any non-state actor parading AK 47 rifle should be shot.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting in Ado Ekiti held at the instance of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to find a lasting solution to farmers-herders clashes, Mobayo said no efforts will be spared to halt ethnic clash in the state.
Mobayo said: “We are ready to implement every presidential order against those carrying illegal arms. If you carry unlicensed arms in Ekiti State, we are going to deal with you ruthlessly.
“To those carrying AK 47 without a licence, it is like carrying death certificate and hang on it on your head, so carrying of AK 47 by non-state actors is not permitted in Ekiti”.
Mobayo who described as erroneous, the impression that the Police were protecting the Fulani herders said his men have been handling all issues that are connected to the two feuding groups in Ekiti.
“We know that Fulani herdsmen most of the time go out of their ways to destroy people’s farms, but we have always been rising up to handle such cases without taking sides. We were being careful because the locals as well used to perpetrate some of these evils under the cover of herdsmen.
“Don’t also forget that underage cattle rearing and night grazing have been banned. If there is any case against Fulani that I am not handling well, you can write a petition against me to the police Zonal office in Akure. I won’t protect any criminal”
The AFAN Chairman in Ekiti, Mr. Adebola Alagbada, said the establishment of ranches remains the best panacea to farmers-herders clashes.
“Cattle Ranches by government and individuals will help in resolving all these crises. If Chief Obafemi Awolowo could establish ranches across the southwest in 1958, why can’t we do the same in this millennium time?”.
Similarly, the Head of Fulani in Ekiti State, Alhaji Adamu Abache, called for the registration of all members for easy identification.
“It is true that farms were being destroyed, but if we had registered with the local governments, we would have been able to identify these itinerant Fulani killer herders.
“We are not against the arrest of criminals but anytime they want to arrest, the police and other security agencies must ensure that the criminals are arrested not innocent Fulani herders”.
The Ajero of Ijero, Oba Joseph Adewole, lamented that; “People had been killed in Orin and Isaba Ekiti and nobody has been prosecuted.
Some Fulani people are claiming that Nigerian lands belong to them and that they must get it by force.
The government must arrest those making such uncomplimentary comments?”.