Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has declared that the fight against criminals in the South-west region was not targeted at a particular ethnic group.
Akeredolu had directed all Fulani herdsmen occupying Ondo forest reserves to vacate and register with the government.
His directive did not go down well with some including Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, who stated that herdsmen don’t need his permission to stay in the forest.
Speaking on Tuesday at his second term inauguration lecture, held in Akure, the state capital, Akeredolu said governors in the region would continue to fight against criminalities in the region with all legal means.
Akeredolu, who is the chairman of the South-west governors forum, noted that the spate of insecurity across the country had indicated that all was not well with the nation and there was no need to pretend about it.
He said, “Today, the most potent threat to national belief is insecurity. And because we have allowed a sustained, non-beneficial stagnation for too long in our approach, the consequences are increasingly becoming more daring. The time to act is now, not tomorrow. As leaders, the choices we make create the path to our desires. We cannot pretend that all is well when indeed, more things are going wrong.
“What we have set out to do in the south western states is not targeted at any ethnic nationality or business. But we are against criminality and we shall fight criminalities with every legal means. It is in the interest of our collective wellbeing. All we require is the support and understanding of all federating units, including the Federal Government. The simple truth is that we have lived in self-denial amid an excruciating pain that is almost cancerous now.
“Notwithstanding our challenges today, my firm belief in the Nigerian Project is strengthened by my own fact of a true Nigerian. I desire a more united Nigeria with every ingredient of freedom, rule of law, patriotism, love, mutual respect and harmony is an understatement. And I am prepared to fight for it legitimately for the benefit of all.”