Ondo denies planned Fulani vigilante over violent herdsmen

Ondo state government on Saturday said it was not planning any Fulani vigilante to curb the violent Fulani herdsmen in the state.

The government said it was not ready to take any decision outside the one taken by the security summit organised by the governors from the southwest region that took place in Ibadan last week.

It had been reported that the state government was planning to establish a Fulani Vigilante as a response to the frequent clashes between local farmers and herdsmen

The report claimed that the Ondo State Government had agreed to requests by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to establish an exclusive Fulani local police for herdsmen in Ondo State.

An online media that reported the story also claimed that a Senior Special Assistant, (SSA) to the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu who sought anonymity said that the establishment of Fulani Vigilante came out of extensive discussions with leaders of Fulani in Ondo State.

“The state government will establish Fulani Vigilante. It is based on the proportional philosophy of dealing with fire using fireballs. The Governor has agreed to the request of the Fulani leaders that this will help check excesses of  herdsmen in Akure many who have been linked to frequent cases of kidnapping in the state”

There have been reports of violent herdsmen attacks in indigenous communities in Ondo State and in one instance involving attempts on the life of the State governor.

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“We hope to recruit about 500 of them for a start. They will be trained by the state government on security tips, intelligence gathering and unarmed combat”, claimed the online medium.

The Fulani herdsmen have been subjects of controversy following cases of kidnapping and violent crimes linked to them.

But the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the state governor, Segun Ajiboye, denied the story, saying that the state had no such plan.

According to him, Akeredolu was in Ibadan for the security summit and had agreed to implement any decision reached at the event.

He said the government had however put machinery in motion to check the activities of the herdsmen before the commencement of the implementation decision of the Ibadan summit.

The CPS said the governor had already met with security chiefs in the state to strategise on how to further ensure the security of lives and property of the people of the state.

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