Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Friday cautioned against anyone instigating ethic conflagration in the state. The governor declared that the state government will not allow anyone to cause ethnic tension or harass anyone carrying out legitimate businesses in the state.
Governor Makinde hosting the new Police Commissioner of the Oyo State Police Command at the Government House, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, on a courtesy visit, maintained that the Fulani herdsmen are not the enemies of the people, stating that the enemies to go after are kidnappers, armed robbers, bandits, etc.
The governor had issued the warning in the wake of the uprising in Ibarapa on Friday when Sunday Igboho, leader of the Oduduwa Republic agitators, had visited the community after issuing the Fulani resident in Yoruba land an ultimatum to leave the state and other southwest states on the allegations of Fulani herdsmen kidnapping and killings in the southwest.
Videos trending on social media since Friday related the visit of Igboho to Ibarapa where he addressed a legion of followers who trooped out in hundreds of thousand celebrating him as a hero of their time. Igboho had vowed to compel the Fulani herdsmen to vacate the entire Yorubaland because of the escalating insecurity and banditry in the southwest suspected to be perpetrated by the Fulani herdsmen.
Governor Makinde, however, warned that the state government and the security agencies should not go after any ethnic group but go against criminals in the state irrespective of tribe, religion, or creed. He reiterated that his administration would not permit any individual to threaten the peace of the state by acting unlawfully and saying things that are alien to the Nigerian Constitution; reaffirming that the government will not tolerate acts that are capable of causing chaos in the state, insisting that they will not be accepted.
Governor Makinde had declared: “For people stoking ethnic tension, they are criminals and once you get them, they should be arrested and treated like common criminals.
“For this administration, the major pillar for us is security, because we know that all the good economic plans we have won’t be possible in an atmosphere of chaos and insecurity.
“So, when people say things that are neither lawful nor within the spirit of Nigeria’s Constitution, it is not acceptable here. And they cannot hide under the guise of protecting Yoruba’s interest to perpetuate chaos in the state.
“I am sure that since you came in, you must have heard about some things happening at Ibarapa axis of the state. I will still say it here that we are not after Hausa-Fulani. We are after criminals.
“We are after hoodlums and bandits irrespective of their tribe, religion, or creed. Those are the people we are after. If you look into the records, when we had the armed robbery incident at Okeho in Kajola Local Government Area of the state, some people were killed, some were arrested and we found out that they were from Ebira, from Kogi State. So, we want to go after the criminals – whether they are Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani or whomever they are.”
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