There was an outrage on Sunday over the Friday night attack by criminals suspected to be Fulani herdsmen on Oke Ako in Ikole Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Two persons died from the attack while three others are receiving treatment in separate private hospitals in Ikole Ekiti and Ado Ekiti.
Governor Ayodele Fayose has warned that there could be reprisal attacks on Fulani herdsmen in the state if they did not desist from invading communities and attacking the people.
He described the assailants as “agents of the devil that must be fished out and punished accordingly.”
The governor, who commiserated with the people, especially the family of the deceased, vowed to do everything within his power to forestall the reoccurrence of such attack and safeguard the lives of Ekiti people.
Fayose in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said the Fulani herdsmen were becoming a major threat to the unity of Nigeria.
“I will not fold my hands while armed herdsmen invade communities in Ekiti, killing people and destroying farmlands at will as they have done in other states.
“I have directed the police and other security agencies in the state to fish out the killer herdsmen. I am in constant touch with the security agencies and I hope that the killer herdsmen will be fished out wherever they are and made to face the full wrath of the law.
“The people of Oke-Ako should therefore remain calm while the security agents do their job. However, the security agents must be mindful of the fact that the people’s patience has a limit and they must therefore act promptly and decisively.”
A member of the seventh House of Representatives, Bamidele Faparusi, has called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, to investigate claims by residents that policemen from Ikole demanded N12,000 for fuel and did not respond promptly to distress call.
Faparusi, in a statement in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, urged Arase to punish anyone indicted to serve as a deterrent to others.
“The villagers revealed that the police in Ikole Divisional Police Station demanded a sum of N12,000 before they can go to Oke Ako to rescue the people. This is an issue that must be investigated thoroughly.
“The IGP should send a powerful delegation from Abuja to carry out an investigation and those found guilty should be punished.
“The police cannot afford to toy with the lives of the Nigerian citizens. I am sure that if they had acted swiftly when the incident was reported, that could have helped in reducing the severity of the attack,” he said.
The governor, who described activities of the Fulani Herdsmen as inimical to the revival of agriculture in the country lamented that farmlands worth billions of naira had been destroyed in states in the South-West, South-East and North-Central zones of the country.
“One wonders how Nigerians can go back to farming when those already in the farms are losing billions of naira worth of crops to destruction of their farmlands by the Fulani Herdsmen and the Federal Government is not doing anything about it.”
“I am sounding a note of warning to the Fulani herdsmen and those who can talk to them should also do so now. If they continue with these wanton attacks, killing of the people and destruction of farmlands in Ekiti, I cannot guarantee that there won’t be reprisal attacks.
“I can also not guarantee the level that the reprisal attacks can get to because as a governor, it is my responsibility to defend and protect my people.”
Fayose called on President Muhammadu Buhari to stop paying lips service to the Fulani herdsmen’s menace, saying as patron of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, the president had the capacity to caution the herdsmen.
“President Buhari should therefore call his people to order because this is Ekiti; our people have the rights to defend themselves.
“Most importantly, President Buhari must be reminded of how he was so concerned about the killing of Fulani herdsmen in in Saki, Oke Ogun Area of Oyo State such that he, as a private citizen led Arewa to Ibadan on October 13, 2000, to confront the then Governor of Oyo State, late Alhaji Lam Adesina.”