The Save The Nation Movement (STNM) has expressed worries over the silence of Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State on the persistent attacks and subsequent take-over of a community in the state by suspected Fulani herdsmen, saying the governor was sacrificing Ekiti people for his ambition to be either President or Vice President in 2023, hence his decision to keep silent over the take-over of Orin Ekiti Farm Settlement by armed herdsmen and hoisting of flag there.
The group lamented that over 24 hours after the residents of Orin Ekiti, Ido/Osi local government area of Ekiti State took to the streets to protest the forceful takeover of their lands by suspected Fulani herdsmen, destruction of crops worth over N50 million in farms belonging to over 70 farmers and hoisting of flags on the lands, Governor Fayemi has not said anything.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, by its National Secretary, Comrade Stevens Chilaka, the STNM said Governor Fayemi was only living up to his pre-election agreement of ceding lands in Ekiti State to Fulani herdsmen so as to remain “a good and willing boy” to the Presidency Cabal towards the 2023 presidential election.
The STNM said it was sad that Fulani herdsmen operating with AK47 were even imposing curfew in a community in Ekiti State town, and the governor is carrying as if all was well.
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The group recalled that during his electioneering campaign in 2018, Fayemi had said that killings by Fulani herdsmen will only stop if lands were provided for the herdsmen as their permanent settlements. He went further to say that it was better to give lands to Fulani herdsmen and live than for them to be killing people.
Then, the governor dismissed allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Ekiti State that he entered into an agreement to create cattle colonies in Orin-Ora, Aramoko, Omuo, Otun, Ise and Erifun in Ado Ekiti.
“Today, Fayemi’s silence on the take-over of lands in Orin-Ekiti by Fulani herdsmen and other atrocities being committed by them across the State has lend credence to claim by the PDP,” the group said.
The group also recalled that in February this year, the people of Ayegbaju Ekiti in the Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State had to stage a violent protest over alleged killing of a farmer, Elijah Ogor, by suspected herdsmen. Ogor, who was in 30s hailed from Benue but was residing in Ekiti, where he was engaged in farming.
In April this year, suspected herders killed two persons and injured three others while many were sent packing from their residences in Iyemero-Ekiti, Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
In June this year, suspected herdsmen macheted a hunter, Emmanuel Ilori, to death in Orin Ekiti. He killed at midnight while hunting games. The tragedy happened barely 24 hours after a lady was murdered in Ise Ekiti.
Adeniyi Ajayi, who was in the bush when Ilori was killed had explained that they met the herdsmen numbering about 30 in an abandoned piggery in the town and when they attempted to inquire what they were doing in the farm, the herdsmen opened fire on them and that resulted in the death of Mr Ilori.
In all these, Governor Fayemi has done nothing, ostensibly because he does not want to offend the powers that be so as not to jeopardise his ambition to either be President or Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2023.