The Ekiti State Government on Monday disclosed its plan to establish ranches in the state under the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the Federal Government.
The Commissioner for Information, Akin Omole, who stated this in a statement in Ado-Ekiti, stressed that Ekiti was ready to key into ranching as a viable solution to stem the increasing wave of killings and kidnapping by herders in the state.
This disclosure was made barely three days after suspected Bororo herdsmen unleashed mayhem and killed two farmers in Isaba-Ekiti, Ikole Local Government Area of the state.
Omole warned that the state would not tolerate the criminal activities of herdsmen who are hibernating in farms to perpetrate evils against farmers and residents of the state.
According to him, the state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has directed the police and the Amotekun corps within 24 hours to comb the state’s forest and fish out herdsmen terrorising Ikole/Oye axis of Ekiti.
The Commissioner said the government remains committed to the resolution of the peace parley between the Southwest governors and leadership of Miyetti Allah in Akure, the Ondo State capital banning night, open and underage grazing in the state.
He said, “Following Governor Fayemi’s condolence and fact-finding visit to the affected community on Sunday, and based on the intelligence available to us, it is clear that the Ikole/Oye axis of the state is vulnerable to incursions of criminally-minded elements who want to take advantage of the forest topography to visit unmitigated terror on farming communities in the area. We will not allow this to happen.
“We reiterate that in consonance with the recent Akure peace meeting and joint communiqué issued between Southwest Governors and the Miyetti Allah, open/night grazing and underage herding remain banned in Ekiti State.
“The state is also making alternative arrangements for enclosed grazing/ranching under the National Livestock Transformation Plan in the state.
“The Government of Ekiti State places great value on the safety of lives and property of its residents. While we will continue to promote the peaceful coexistence of all law-abiding Nigerians irrespective of ethnic or religious background, the government will not condone acts of mindless violence that creates fear amongst our people or deter them from going about their lawful duties in safety on their farms or in their communities,” he said.
He said Governor Fayemi has directed security agencies to enforce to the letter the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on arms-bearing, warning that anyone caught with dangerous weapons in Ekiti forest would be considered as criminal and face the full wrath of the law.
Omole urged the public to collaborate with the security agencies by providing useful information that will help in arresting the criminal elements in the state.