BY TOPE FAYEHUN, Akure
The Chairman of Southwest Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has warned kidnappers and other criminal elements that have turned forest reserves across the Southwest region into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom and carrying out other criminal activities to vacate the reserves within seven days or face wrath of the government.
The Governor who spoke during an interactive meeting with the leadership of the Hausa/Fulani and Ebira Communities in the state held at the Cocoa Conference Hall of the Governor’s office, Alagabaka, Akure on Monday said his administration will not fold its arms and allow a few individuals turn the State into a haven of dare-devil criminals.
Akeredolu who decried the activities of the criminal elements in the state said security reports and debriefings from victims of kidnap cases pointed in one direction traceable to some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen.
The governor in the meeting attended by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bolaji Salami and the state commandant of the Amotekun Corps, Mr. Tunji Adeleye placed a ban on Night-grazing and movement of cattle within cities and highway in the state, while also outlawing under-aged grazing of cattle.
According to him, “As the Chief Law and Security Officer of the State, it is my constitutional obligation to do everything lawful to protect the lives and property of all residents of the State. This meeting, therefore, is convened to address the issues of insecurity with the ultimate aim of attaining the goal of a safe environment.
“Recent security trends attest that these times require all hands to be on the deck as the difficulties we face are dire. The challenges are quite enormous but we are determined to confront them head-on.
“We decided that all the criminal elements who hide under various guises to aid the destruction of farmlands as well as perpetrate other violent crimes such as kidnapping, drug peddling and other nefarious activities, must be stamped out of our dear State
“I wish to reassure the residents that the State Security Council, under my leadership, shall not relent in tackling these challenges as pragmatically possible. We shall remove all threats in no distant future.’’