By Bukola Olamona & Mary Agidi
The popularity of President Muhammadu Buhari is tumbling rapidly over the Presidency’s stand on the Ondo State government’s quit order to herdsmen in the state’s forest reserves.
Prominent leaders interviewed yesterday expressed shock over the support being shown to the criminal activities of Fulani herdsmen by the Presidency.
Those interviewed expressed strong concern that the Presidency was openly canvassing for the ethnic interest of the Fulani above national interest.
In separate interviews yesterday, prominent leaders including Pa Reuben Fasoranti, Human Rights Crusader, Professor Peter Aborisade, former Minister, Dr Olu Agunloye, Legal activist, Dr Tunji Abayomi and a Community leader, Mr Benji Oloye asked the Presidency to recount its statement on the vacation order.
The leaders who described the presidency’s statement as an act of intrusion and trespass insisted that governor Akeredolu has the constitutional right on land matters.
Aborisade described the position of the Presidency as an act of intrusion rather than colonising, saying that the governor has right over anything within his state.
The Professor of Communication at the Federal University of Technology Akure, also stated that to ensure compliance and enforcement of the orders issued by the Governor, the traditional rulers must rise to the task in their various communities.
“Any traditional ruler who failed to effect the order in his community by harboring them for selfish gain must be made to face the wrath of the government by either prosecution or dethronement.
Aborisade advised the governor to equip the Amotekun Corps for the task, noting that federal government had no constitutional right to dictate to the state on anything on its land space.
“Any traditional ruler who is caught in this should be prosecuted, if need be, they should be dethroned. They have a big role to play because they are the ones who allowed them.
In his own contribution, Dr. Abayomi noted that the freedom of movement stipulated in the constitution is not absolute and there’s no right without limitations.
He noted that the governor is a custodian of everything in his state and possessed the right to act upon it contrary to the claim of the presidency.
The Pro-Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko stated that section 14(2) of the constitution stated that governor as security and welfare of the people, which Akeredolu acted in accordance to in order to protect the people of the state against the constant attacks by a particular ethnic group.
“Under the law, the governor is the custodian of all the lands in Ondo State for the people, not for Fulani herdsmen, not for people that came from other places. The custodian has the right to act on anything under his custody in the interest of the people. All the rhapsody put up by anybody, I don’t know the basis of it”. He added.
Also reacting to the issue, leader of the Yoruba Socio Political Group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti said the governor is the Chief Security Officer of the state who knows where the shoe pinches him adding that what he is after is the safety of his people.
According to him:” He is the Chief Security Officer of the state, he knows best, he has received reports from his people and he knows where the shoe is pinching us, so he has his reason for given the directives.
“I think what he is after is the safety of his people, that is why he needs to achieve it by all means” he stated
He advised that the government should strengthen its own internal security so that the safety of the citizens would be guaranteed and the criminals will not always have a field day.