Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State, has ordered Fulani herdsmen to vacate all Forest Reserves in the state within the next seven days.

Akeredolu in a statement released on Monday also banned the movement of cattle within cities and highways, as well as night grazing.

There has been a growing rate of insecurity in the state despite the launch of Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as Amotekun.

The statement read, “We have taken major steps at addressing the root cause of kidnapping, in particular, and other nefarious activities detailed and documented in security reports, the press and debriefings from victims of kidnap cases in Ondo State.

“These unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen.  These felons have turned our forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransoms and carrying out other criminal activities.

“As the Chief Law and Security Officer of the State, it is my constitutional obligation to do everything lawful to protect the lives and property of all residents of the state. In light of the foregoing, the following orders are hereby issued:

“All Forest Reserves in the state are to be vacated by herdsmen within the next seven days with effect from today, Monday 18th, January, 2021. Night grazing is banned with immediate effect because most farm destruction takes place at night.

“Movement of cattle within cities and highways is prohibited. Underage grazing of cattle is outlawed.

“In its usual magnanimity, our administration will give a grace period of seven days for those who wish to carry on with their cattle-rearing business to register with appropriate authorities. Our resolution to guarantee safety of lives and property within the state shall remain utmost as security agencies have been directed to enforce the ban.”

Akeredolu’s directive was informed by the killings and kidnappings happening in the state, which have largely been blamed on Fulani herdsmen.

In July 2019, some suspected herdsmen in a kidnap attempt, shot and killed Funke Olakunrin, the second daughter of Afenifere leader, Reuben Fasoranti.

The police said the incident occurred between Kajola and Ore along the Ondo-Ore Road.

In November 2020, Oba Adegoke Adeusi, the Olufon of Ifon in the Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State was murdered by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.

Oba Adeusi was killed at a spot around the Elegbeka axis of the town.

The first-class monarch was returning to his palace from Akure, the state capital, when he was killed.

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