Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has charged hunters in the state to defend the people against any unforeseen invasion by herdsmen, adding that “If you have juju, use it. Make them (herdsmen) sleep off. Anything you have, use it. Make sure your people are not killed.”
The governor said this during an emergency security summit he had with hunters from the 16 local government areas of the state on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.
Clad in military attire, the governor declared that he dressed in that manner so to charge the hunters to protect the state, thus setting up a 24-hour surveillance of the state to prevent attacks by herdsmen.
His pro-active approach follows the recent massacre by herdsmen of over 70 people in Benue State amid widespread condemnation of Federal Government’s poor handling of the incident.
He said, “I am sympathising with our brothers and sisters from Benue State who are mourning the killing of their people. We are going to observe a minute silence for the dead. I saw pictures of the killings and wondered if the killers were human beings. They cut people’s necks, arms, and they want to wipe away a race and a people who are farmers. The killers will not know peace.”
“The Federal Government must protect Nigerians and we are not protected and it is the duty of the government to do so. They killed first, second and third time and nothing was done to curtail their activities. It is unfortunate that Governor Samuel Ortom went seeking help where there is none. Those he is seeking help from in Abuja can’t help themselves. We have never had it so bad. People must come to leadership with conscience. They ought to send army there but sent police who were being killed.”
Nigerian Guardian quoted him as telling the hunter-delegates that:
“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.”
Fayose described his battle uniform as “a mark of leadership and solidarity with our hunters and vigilantes.” He noted: “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.”
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to brand the “mindless and devilish” cattlemen as terrorists and observed a moment’s silence for the victims of the Benue tragedy.