Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has visited Ipao Ekiti, the community where herdsmen allegedly massacred a farmer, Tunde Olayemi, 32, on Sunday in Ikole Local Government Area of the state.
Hundreds of the people of the community trooped out to welcome the governor. They displayed placards to show their displeasure at the sad development.
The governor said the law prohibiting open grazing of cattle will be amended to punish anybody who willfully kills any cow or cause malicious damage to property.
He also said the state government will soon organise a summit of stakeholders to find a lasting solution to incessant clashes between farmers and cattle rearers in the state, especially in Ikole Local Government Area.
While meeting with leaders of the town, Governor Fayose promised to set up a five man committee that would investigate the root cause of the killings in the town.
On the need for a stakeholders’ meeting, the governor said it had become necessary as Ikole LGA had become notorious for clashes between farmers and herders.
“It is a very unfortunate incident because we thought we have got over such type of event.
Two years ago, a similar event happened here.
We have been proactive and we thank the security people. They deployed immediately they were contacted. We won’t leave anything to chance.
“We value life and we will leave no stone unturned. We will set up a committee to look into the matter here in Ikole Local Government. We will reach out to cattle rearers and their leaders and other parties concerned to resolve the matter.
“We don’t want to have a mindset against anybody. We will ensure balance. The five-man committee will look into the matter and find a lasting solution. We will call on the leadership of the herders and farmers as well as community leaders to deliberate on the way forward,” he said.
The governor appealed to the people of the area not to take the law into their hands and not to resort to self help.
He also promised to compensate the bereaved family and affected Fulani herdsmen who lost their cattle. The governor also said he would amend the anti-grazing law such that anyone who kills herdsmen cow would be jailed for a year.
He appealed to the people of Ipao and their leaders to ensure that there is no reprisal.
“I appeal to you to ensure you live peacefully with the Fulani herdsmen in your community. We want apeaceful situation and don’t allow any reprisal.
“We will investigate and get to the root cause of this sad development and particularly why this community has become a flashpoint so we can find a lasting solution to it.
“The security operatives have been deployed in to your town and would secure the place.” He said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, Mr A.I. Chafe, said no arrest had been made as at press time.
He expressed the readiness of his men to maintain law and order in the area.
The police commissioner assured that he was holding a meeting with all other security operatives, such as the State Security Services, Civil Defense Corps, army and the mobile police on how to mobilise their men to secure the community.
Also, a detachment of soldiers from the Army Brigade in Akure, Ondo State, led by Brigadier-General J.A.Ataguba, was also on ground.