GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu has lashed out at those who have accused him of inviting the of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (Macban) to mount vigilante patrols in Ondo State saying it is the handiwork of his political opponents and detractors.
There has been a furore over the last week after lawyer Kayode Ajulo posted pictures on social media of himself and armed Fulani security vigilantes on the road to Akure, the Ondo State capital. His report included images of the Macban identity cards the vigilantes carried and they claimed that there were officially authorised to conduct security in Ondo State.
Since the pictures were published, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has come under fierce attack, as it is believed he recruited the vigilantes without consulting anyone. Several socio-cultural groups have also frowned at the ideas of outsiders being brought into Ondo State to act as vigilantes when local youths are not being allowed to form such groups.
Responding the charges, Governor Akeredolu has denied engaging Macban, saying those behind the stories were out to cause mischief. Ondo State information commissioner Donald Ojogo, said that the government would not allow Fulani vigilante in any part of the state.
Mr Ojogo said: “Not only did Governor Akeredolu disown the move, he indeed, ordered the police to effect the arrest of anyone or group which parades itself as a Fulani vigilante. The Ondo State government has witnessed with utmost dismay, an orchestrated campaign in respect of the above subject matter.
“The intention of the sponsors and their echoers is undoubtedly, to discredit the administration of Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu and ostensibly incite the people against the Ondo State government. It is pertinent to recall that upon the circulation of the story in the social media about the purported formation of an armed vigilante group by Macban, Governor Akeredolu was swift in his reaction to the development.
“At the risk of repeating himself, Governor Akeredolu reaffirmed the position of the government on Tuesday, July 23 when he was accosted by reporters who sought further information on the matter. The leadership of Macban in the state has equally disowned the report and has even provided further insights into actionable steps to deal with whoever conducts self in a manner that does not conform with the position of the government.
“Succinctly, therefore, the scheming media spins on the issue can only be the handiwork of divisive elements and their collaborators whose defeated desire is to de-market the Ondo State government through unfounded claims and gross mischief. The position of Governor Akeredolu on this matter stands and this is that the government will not allow armed Fulani vigilante in any part of Ondo State.”