Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has warned people planning to take actions that can lead to the forcible ejection of anyone from the state to desist.
He said anybody who failed to abide by the directive would face the full wrath of the law.
The governor directed local government and local council development area chairpersons to work with monarchs and officers of security agencies to ensure peace is maintained.
Apparently reacting to the alleged ultimatum given to the Fulani in the state by a popular Oke Ogun resident, Chief Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho), to leave, Makinde in a statewide broadcast yesterday said no one has a right to ask anyone to leave any part of the country.
He promised to uphold the constitution.
The governor said the common enemies of the people are not the Hausa-Fulani who are looking for pasture for their flock, or the farmers who want to grow food to sell in the market or feed their families.
He said the enemies are the hoodlums, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers and bandits, who he noted live among the people.
Makinde said: “The past few weeks’ events have made it imperative that I address issues that have to do with the internal security of our dear state. Barely a week ago, I had cause to call out members of the press, who were allowing themselves to be used to stoke ethnic tension among the good people of Oyo State. There have been stories in the press targeted at exaggerating the security situation.
“However, we cannot overlook the fact that there have indeed been instances that cause concern. The fragile peace between the herdsmen and farmers in Oke Ogun is being threatened. Individuals who are not authorised are going around chasing people from their homes and causing mayhem. This assault on residents of Oyo State is not the way to further the Yoruba cause.
“Let me state that we shall not sit back and watch anyone make any law-abiding resident of Oyo State feel unsafe in their homes, farms, or business places. We are aware of some people circulating flyers and giving people ultimatum to leave their land. This is totally unacceptable and will not be condoned.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which I swore to defend and protect, guarantees freedom of movement in Section 41(1), such that citizens are free to reside in any part of the country without fear. We are determined to preserve that right in Oyo State.
Therefore, I am calling on individuals or groups planning to take any action that will lead to the forcible ejection of anyone from Oyo State to desist from taking such action. Any persons who fail to abide by this directive will face the full wrath of the law.”
He added: “Local government and local council development area chairpersons are directed to work with traditional rulers and officers of security agencies to ensure that peace is maintained in all parts of the state. Let me also use this medium to speak to our monarchs. They must not be part of any plan to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of residents of Oyo State.
“I must reiterate that we will not hesitate to take appropriate action against individuals who try to disrupt peace in Oyo State. Our administration is taking steps to protect the good people of Oyo State from harassment, thuggery and banditry. We believe we have the situation under control.
“It is time for us to come together and put the interests of our state first. We have a common enemy. That enemy is not the Hausa Fulani who is looking for pasture for his flock. It is not the farmer who just wants to grow food to sell in the market or to feed his family. Our enemies are the hoodlums, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers and bandits.
“These people live among us.
“We have constitutionally empowered people who will arrest and prosecute these criminals. Our job, as active citizens, is to help them where we can to identify these enemies. Report criminals and criminal activities you are privy to and let the authorities take action. If you see something, say something.
“I must acknowledge the efforts of some officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have resumed their constitutional duties of maintaining law and order in our state. I encourage the leadership of the Police to continue to collaborate with our administration to secure Oyo State.
“With our collective efforts, we can continue to keep the peace in Oyo State. Together, we can preserve the secure environment that has contributed to the growth of our economy.”