…Says govt planning attack as a ploy to declare state of emergency
Ekit State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has warned the President Buhari-led Federal Government against providing secret support for his kinsmen, Fulani herdsmen, to invade Ekiti State.
Fayose, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti, said the Federal Government should be held responsible in the event that the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) carries out its threat to invade Ekiti State.
He premised his position on the fact that not a single Fulani herdsman has been arrested since the mass murder of innocent Nigerians in Agatu, Benue State, where the Fulani herdsmen sacked entire villages took over the place as an occupation force.
Fayose said the association had last Saturday, openly threatened to wage war against the people of Ekiti for the unfounded allegation of killing their cattle.
Ekiti State has outlawed cattle grazing in the state and imposed fines and terms of imprisonment for offenders.
Full text of his speech:
“On Saturday, October 22, 2016, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders
Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), the umbrella body of herdsmen in
Nigeria openly threatened to wage war against the government and
people of Ekiti State, lying that four cattle belonging to its member
were killed by the newly inaugurated Ekiti Grazing Enforcement Marshal
Four days after this threat was issued against the government and
people of Ekiti State by the Miyetti Allah, the federal government is
yet to act in any manner that will disabuse the minds of Ekiti people,
who believed that the federal government is in support of the threat.
The silence of the federal government has no doubt further confirmed
the insinuation that there is plot to give tacit support to the
herdsmen to invade some border towns and villages in Ekiti State and
cause chaos in the State so as to justify the evil agenda of
declaration of a state of emergency on the State.
Nigerians should be reminded that in May, this year, Myetti Allah
Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria said openly that the reason for
the killing of over 1,000 people in Benue State was the killing of
over 800 cattle by Tiv youths. In other words, Miyetti Allah boldly
told Nigerians that its members (herdsmen) killed over 1,000 Agatu
people of Benue State because their cows were killed!
Up till today, no one has been arrested for the massacre in Agatu in
Benue State and now, Ekiti State and its people are being threatened
by this same Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, and
the federal government has pretended as if nothing was wrong.
From the words and antecedents of the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders
Association of Nigeria, it is clear that they have assurance beyond
their personal minds from the federal government to kill Nigerians in
place of their cows. If not, by now, the man who signed that press
statement, threatening the entire people of Ekiti State ought to have
been arrested and questioned.
Therefore, in view of the above, we wish to tell Nigerians and the
entire world that in the event of any invasion of Ekiti State by
killer herdsmen, the federal government should be held responsible.
The herdsmen and those urging them on should also be informed that any
attack on one Ekiti person is an attack on all Ekitis and we shall not
sit back and allow our people to be killed under the guise of cattle
In the event of federal government’s security agencies refusal to
secure the lives and properties of Ekiti people, the people will have
no option than to defend themselves. Our forefathers did same in the
famous Kiriji War and we won’t mind doing the same now!
I am therefore using this opportunity to put Ekiti people, especially
residents of border towns in the State on red alert. Ekiti people must
be prepared to defend their land against these Philistines whose
attributes and characters are extremism, violence, bloodshed and
For the avoidance of doubt, the Prohibition of Cattle and other
Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti State Bill, 2016 that was signed into law
on August 29, 2016 remains in force. Nigeria is a federation and each
State is empowered by law to make laws to protects its people.
Therefore, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria
should rather tell its members to comply with this law by seeking from
the government designated land for grazing ranch, which the government is always willing to give.
Five cattle that were arrested last week are being kept in the
government ranch and their owners can take them back as soon as the
necessary fines are paid.
It is strange that the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of
Nigeria kept silent when its members killed two people and injured
several others in Oke Ako in Ekiti State. So strange that the same
Miyetti Allah that defended the murder of over 1,000 Agatu people of
Benue State and kept silent when herdsmen killed over 100 people
in Enugu State and a traditional ruler was killed in Delta
State suddenly found its voice when Ekiti State government decided to
curb the murderous activities of its men.
Why didn’t Miyetti Allah that is now calling on President Muhammadu
Buhari to warn me, the custodian of the mandate of Ekiti people warn
its members when they were killing Nigerians and destroying farmlands?
Are their cows more important than human lives?
To us in Ekiti, lives of 5,000 cows cannot be equated with those of
human beings that are being killed daily by herdsmen across the
Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria should know that
cattle farmers are not different from other farmers. If they want to
rear cows in Ekiti, they should do so in accordance with the laws of
the State. After all, law prohibiting sale and consumption of alcohol
was made in Kano State and the law is being enforced while Sharia Law
made in some States in the north is also being enforced.
We, therefore, want to appeal to all security agencies to be alive to their responsibility of protecting the lives of Nigerians and their properties.”