In the wake of the massacre of over 70 people in Benue State by armed herdsmen, Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose has put hunters on red alert in preparation for the rumoured invasion of the stat by militant herdsmen.
Speaking in Ado Ekiti at an emergency security meeting held with hunters from the 16 local government areas of the state, Fayose ordered them (hunters) to set up a 24-hour surveillance of the state to prevent attacks by herdsmen.
He raised the alarm that some persons identified as Bororo herdsmen had started making surreptitious moves into the state with plans to kill and maim people as well as rubbish the government’s anti-grazing law enforcement.
“We will not allow that to happen. I want you all the hunters to go back today to protect your people, be vigilant, open your eyes, make sure everyone entering our state is screened. No one in the guise of grazing should enter our land after 8pm.
“For our brothers who harbour criminals, if your plan is to make this state ungovernable, you are wasting your time. Tell them Ekiti is a no-go area. My state is a no-go area. Those who want to make Ekiti ungovernable are wasting their time.
“Don’t kill anybody but defend your towns. Keep vigil on Ekiti. Don’t sleep again. Arise and fight for our people. How can the life of a cow be worth more than the life of men? My hunters! Go and represent me well. If you have juju, use it. Make them (herdsmen) sleep off. Anything you have, use it. Make sure your people are not killed.
“I am a man that believes that his people must be protected. I therefore want you all to protect our people. Go and protect your domain. Make sure everybody entering our state on a daily basis is screened.
“I’m not going to Abuja to start crying like a woman. I will take steps to protect my people. There is nobody that is greater than the laws of the land. We must stop the killers; they must not enter our land. My people arise and defend our land. It is those who want to take our land that will die for us.
“Don’t let them take you by surprise. Don’t allow them to take Ekiti by storm. Go to the farms and keep vigil. Don’t just entertain visitors that come in the night, screen them. We don’t want visitors in our games at 8pm.
“I will do whatever is necessary within the ambit of the law to defend you. I have set up four teams that within few minutes they will be there,” he said.
Fayose, who sympathised with the governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom over killings perpetrated by herdsmen in the state urged him (Ortom) to fasten his seat belt.
“I sympathise with our brothers, sisters and people from Benue State that are mourning the brutality of those who killed their kinsmen. Governor Ortom should fasten his belt and protect his people. Those seeking help in Abuja would not find it because Abuja also needs help,” he said.
The governor also said the federal government had failed Nigerians and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to brand the “mindless and devilish” herdsmen as terrorists.
“It is the duty of the Federal Government to protect its people. We are not protected. We have never had it so bad. People must come to leadership with conscience. The Federal Government should have sent the army not the police.
“How did we get to this stage? The Federal Government has failed us in this regard. How can you send the police? Why not soldiers? All these propaganda can’t save lives,” said Fayose.