Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Monday disclosed that no part of the state will be ceded to anyone under any guise.
Akeredolu made the assertion while reiterating his earlier position on the eviction of all trespassers occupying forest reserves across the state.
According to the governor, the state will continue to eject and punish, in accordance with the law, anyone, either herder or farmer illegally occupying the forest reserves.
The governor stated this during the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed first female Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu and four Special Advisers at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure.
While vowing to rid the state and the people of criminals operating under the guise of herding, Akeredolu maintained that that forest reserves across the state will be rid of those still occupying them illegally.
“We will not relent on our decision to rid our state of undesirable elements. We owe no one any further explanation or apology on this resolution to ensure peace other than our people.
“Anyone who commits a crime under the guise of pastoralism shall be sanctioned severely. We will proceed to mobilize the people against this menace. The people of Ondo State will not accept any aberrant incursion into our space.
“This Administration, under our leadership will not shirk its responsibilities in any manner. We will not mortgage the future of the coming generations for political expediency. We do not want to be seen as politically correct when our people are dying and/or losing their legitimate means of livelihood. We shall not embrace the counsel of the treacherous and wicked. The welfare of the people shall remain the primary focus of governance. No one will be allowed to trample on the rights of our people. The people of Ondo State shall not become underlings in their own space.”
Speaking on the Federal Government National Livestock Transformation Programme, Akeredolu emphasized that the programme is not about sustaining the antiquated cultural practice which allows cattle to move from the remotest parts of the Sahel region to the savannah.
“It is not about a settlement of an ethnic group foreign to Ondo State on our land. It is to be funded by the Federal Government, our people must be active participants on our soil. The State shall generate revenue from cattle feeding in ranches, slaughtering of cows, among others. Pastoralism is not the exclusive preserve of an ethnic group.
“Trends in the modern business of animal husbandry should be of direct concern to the state. The proposed ranches shall not be for human habitation in Ondo State. All those who bring in cattle and the herds shall be registered. Nobody will be allowed to form new settlements on our ancestral lands. Cattle rearing shall be for business, strictly, in Ondo State.”