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Middle Belt group backs Akeredolu, advise FG against arresting Igboho

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The people of the Middle belt in Nigeria have thrown their weight behind vacation order handed down to Fulani herdsmen by Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, saying Ondo forest must.be free of bandits and kidnappers.

The group which operates under the aegis of Middle Belt Forum (MBF) in a statement on Sunday in Abuja and signed by its National President, Dr. Pogu Bitrus also warned the Federal Government against the planned arrest of Sunday Igboho over ultimatum issued Fulani herdsmen.

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The middle belt people who have been experiencing endless Fulani herders’ attacks speaking through the forum, advised the Presidency and the Police to assist in flushing out criminals rather.

The group said there was tension all over the places occasioned by insecurity which obviously was traceable to Fulani herders, and as a result, government should look for for a way to tackle it rather than creating dreadful uncertainties for the nation’s future on account of arresting the Yoruba Youth activist. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

“In this modern age noted for global best practices, the adoption of the policy of ranching has become an urgent and irrevocable option.


The statement pointed out that any attempt to arrest Mr. Sunday Igboho would escalate crisis that could be difficult to manage.

“As the umbrella organisation representing ethnic nationalities in the Middle Belt region, the MBF is in total support of ridding Ondo State of bandits and criminal elements as contained in the ultimatum handed down on criminal herders by the governor.

“We call on the Federal Government and other state governors to work in partnership and end the terror perpetrated by these bandits whose occupation of the country’s forest reserves have become present and future dangers to Nigeria as a nation.

He said the storm of reactions over the quit notice issued by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State to criminal herders to either vacate the state forest reserves or face the full wrath of the law is amazing.

“We are also worried at the turn of events in the South-west and the order issued by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, for the arrest of Mr Sunday Adeyemo, AKA Igboho, over his alleged role in the violence that took place at the weekend in Oyo state.

“While we welcome the bold decision by the governor to protect lives and property of citizens threatened by the activities of bandits that have now found safe havens in forests, we are completely opposed to any action by the Federal Government to escalate the ongoing tension as demonstrated by the arrest order on Igboho.”

Bitrus observed that, as the Chief Security Officer of Ondo State, Governor Akeredolu is rightly entitled to protect citizens that are now under constant siege by criminal elements.

“For those who insist that the quit order on criminal herders amounts to infringing the citizenship rights of Fulani, the Forum wishes to reiterate that Akeredolu’s quit order is to unregistered herders occupying the forests and involved in kidnappings and banditry.

“The MBF wishes to state that it is unacceptable for the Federal Government to interfere in the genuine efforts deployed by Governor Akeredolu to end the ceaseless abductions of peaceful citizens for ransom.”

He deplored the role of the Federal Government in defending criminals whose major preoccupation is unleashing violence and terror on peaceful communities.

“What the Federal Government should do now is to assist Akeredolu and other state governors to flush out these criminals and end the culture of lawlessness ripping across not only Ondo, but also other states where these outlaws have turned our nation’s forest reserves into safe harbors for their crimes.

“The Forum recalls that in the height of grisly killings and devastations that trailed many communities in Benue state, President Buhari had called on the people to return home and learn to live with their neighbours in peace.

“When neighbours decide to turn themselves into agents of terror on their fellow neighbours who are peace-loving, then, such neighbours are no longer neighbours but outlaws that must be arrested and be made to face the law.
Bitrus indicated that the only way to end the vicious assaults by the bandits is to completely flush them out of the nation’s forest reserves.

“We cannot continue to play the ostrich as Nigerian communities continue to suffer bloodshed due to increasing waves of vicious and unprovoked attacks on defenceless citizens by these vicious brigands.

“With many states, especially in the Middle Belt Region, now under the menace of these outlaws, we call for both the Federal Government and the states to adopt the policy of ranching as means of ending the security challenges posed by these criminal herders.”

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