Fulani herdsmen of Ilorin, Kwara State, operating in Ekiti State have begged Governor Ayodele Fayose to lift the ban placed on open grazing in the state to save the cattle business of more than 100,000 of their people across the state.
Speaking with journalists yesterday in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, the Seriki of the Fulani from Ilorin, Alhaji Mahmood Ahmadu, exonerated his members of complicity in the attack by some suspected herdsmen on the residents of Oke Ako Ekiti last Friday, leading to the death of two persons.
Ahmadu disclosed that his members with over three million cattle across the 16 local government areas of the state had vacated their residences and property in Oke Ako, Irele and Ipao Ekiti as a result of the order given by the governor which he said has started taking its toll on the businesses.
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Fayose had during his visit to Oke Ako in Ikole local government on Monday, announced that every cattle dealer in the state must own a ranch, ordering the villagers to start killing cattle sighted within their premises or farmlands.
He promised that his people will join hands with the governor to bring the perpetrators to justice and to secure the state to forestall recurrence of such unfortunate acts.
According to him, “Ilorin Fulani herdsmen are not killers, we are responsible citizens. I have been in Ado Ekiti for 40 years. My people have property in their locations and are now living in palpable fear. If we should tie all our cows, how do we feed them. They will all die and this will be disastrous to our members.
“We appeal to all traditional rulers to help our people and save them from attack. They should also help us beg the governor to lift the ban to ease our burden. We are cohabiting with our host communities peacefully and this we shall sustain at all cost”, he assured.