Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo has lambasted northern leaders, politicians and other Nigerians supporting killer Fulani herdsmen, calling them criminals.
He criticised them as he bemoaned the herdsmen atrocity after three people were killed and houses were razed last Thursday in Omolege Junction, near Ute in Ose local government area.
“You have to be prepared. These herdsmen are becoming too problematic. We are not sleeping. You can see the police and Amotekun here. With this one they have done, we will ensure that it is their last evil act here,” the Ondo governor stated. “Those behind this are criminals. Those supporting them are all criminals too. Anyone who commits a crime will answer for it.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has often supported Fulani herdsmen, castigating state governors and farmers for preventing the herders’ cattle from grazing.
“They have run to Edo now,” the governor said in a statement issued on Sunday by his aide, Richard Olatunde.
Mr Akeredolu, who visited the area on Sunday, commiserated with the people, said no government would be happy with the killings of its people.
He assured residents that the government was making relentless efforts to track the herdsmen and provide relief materials to those affected.
The governor added, “Both the police and Amotekun have briefed me that they were being shot at. But for their boldness and courage, the criminals would have overwhelmed them.”
The Akarigbo of Ute, Felix Olabode, narrated that the gunmen killed people and returned to raze buildings 30 minutes after police visited the area.
“They always use guns to scare people away here and then brought their cows to graze on people’s farm and drink water,” Mr Olabode added.
Also, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) coordinator in the area, Folorunso Olofe, disclosed that the gunmen attacked the community with AK-47.
“This has been happening for long. They are always coming with AK-47. They were more than 50. One Amotekun officer was hit with a bullet during the attack. They came and killed the Baale. Police came and evacuated the dead, and not up to 15 minutes, they came back and razed this place,” he said.
Villagers said the gunmen attacked the community following the refusal of the residents to allow the herdsmen to graze on their farms.