The Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose on Wednesday summoned hunters from the 16 local government areas of the state to an emergency meeting aimed at checkmating the activities of killer herdsmen.
Decked in a military fatigue, he ordered the huntsmen to set up a 24-hour surveillance of the state, and send a clear message to the rampaging cattle rearers that Ekiti state is a no-go area.
The governor acted barely a day after describing the widespread massacre by herdsmen as terrorism. Over 70 people were recently hacked down in Benue State amid widespread condemnation of Federal Government’s poor handling of the incident, even after the President ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to relocate to Benue and restore normalcy there.
“The Federal Government should have sent the army to Benue, not the police,” Fayose said, adding that his Benue State counterpart “should fasten his belt and protect his people. Those seeking help in Abuja would not find it because Abuja also needs help”.
He told the hunter-delegates: “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 explained his appearance in military uniform as “a mark of leadership and solidarity with our hunters and vigilantes”, adding that: “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 called on President Muhammadu Buhari to label the “mindless and devilish” cattlemen as terrorists and observed a moment’s silence for the victims of the Benue tragedy.