The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Monday, issued an ultimatum to herdsmen to vacate all forests in the state within the next one week.
Akeredolu, who gave the order through his verified twitter handle stated that the move became necessary because the forests have become hideouts for kidnappers and other criminal activities.
He said, “These unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen.
“These felons have turned our forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom, and carrying out other criminal activities.”
Akeredolu also banned night grazing, stating that destruction of farms mostly occur at night.
In addition, the Governor said that “Movement of cattle within cities and highways is prohibited,” adding that “Under-aged grazing of cattle is outlawed.
“Our resolution to guarantee safety of lives and property within the State shall remain utmost as security agencies have been directed to enforce the ban,” he said.
He stated further that his administration “will give a grace period of seven days for those who wish to carry on with their cattle-rearing business to register with appropriate authorities.”
Criminal activities have been rife in the state in the past few months, with the latest popular incident being the abduction of a couple and two others in Owo LGA.
A prominent traditional ruler in the state, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi was shot by bandits in November while in December, the wife of Akeredolu’s Chief of Staff was abducted by kidnappers.