Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose has urged residents of the state to defend themselves against any Fulani herdsmen who try to attack them.
Fayose gave the order on Monday, May 23, 2016, during a visit to Oke-Ako community where suspected herdsmen killed two people and injured four others.
“From now on, my government has banned grazing in Ekiti State. If you want to graze, it should be in your local ranches. Any cow seen around should be seized and it would henceforth become government property and their owners shall be prosecuted,” Fayose said.
“On no account should anybody come to sack our communities again, rise up against them. Before any herdsmen kill you, kill them, before they rape your wives, kill them, and before they rape your children kill them.
“I am giving you this order before they kill you kill them. You have to defend yourselves. Before they get you, you must get them down and take them out. You should pursue them, go and search for them inside the forest. Anyone who comes to take your life, you must take them out.
“We will not leave our lands for Fulani herdsmen and in a system where the leadership of the country looks the other way while our people are being killed, we will have no option than to defend ourselves,” he added.
Fayose has been criticized for the comments which many see as inciting, but the unfortunate truth is that Fayose’s action was precipitated by the inaction of President Muhammadu Buhari and officials of his government.
Buhari has not issued a firm statement on the killings and his government seems to be making plans to appease the killers instead of addressing their crimes.
“I have yet to hear this government articulate a firm policy of non-tolerance for the serial massacres have become the nation’s identification stamp. I have not heard an order given that any cattle herders caught with sophisticated firearms be instantly disarmed, arrested, placed on trial, and his cattle confiscated,” Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka said on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.
“The nation is treated to an eighteen-month optimistic plan which, to make matters worse, smacks of abject appeasement and encouragement of violence on innocents.
“Let me repeat, and of course I only ask to be corrected if wrong: I have yet to encounter a terse, rigorous, soldierly and uncompromising language from this leadership, one that threatens a response to this unconscionable blood-letting that would make even Boko Haram repudiate its founding clerics,” Soyinka added.
To make matters worse, Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina said, in response to the attacks, that Nigerians are simply looking for a talkative president.
“Maybe you didn’t hear the President when he spoke. When the Agatu crisis happened, he decried it and said he was going to ask for security briefing on it and something will be done,” he said during an interview with Radio Continental.
“What I see in Nigeria is that at times people want a talkative President that is speaking every day and he will speak to a point that people are even tired of hearing him. The Presidency is the last point in any country but in Nigeria, they want to make it the first point of comment. No, it should not be like that,” he added.
President Buhari has given the impression that he is not concerned about the lives being taken by killer Fulani herdsmen and has, as such, given room for people, like Fayose, to take laws into their own hands.
As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Watch Fayose speak on Fulani herdsmen below: