Nigerian Governors Forum says Akeredolu cannot be faulted for protecting his people from killers disguising as herdsmen

Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti State

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, has defended the decision of his colleague, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, to protect the people of Ondo State from killers herdsmen.

Fayemi in a statement on Thursday, during a Channels TV programme, Politics Today, spoke on the ultimatum given to armed herders to vacate Ondo Forest.

He noted that Governor Akeredolu cannot be faulted for protecting the people that voted him into power.

“We would always be concerned about security and we are working with all the institutions of state responsible for security to ensure those involved in criminal enterprises are brought to book.

“The interest of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, is not to engage in political brickbat but to stem the tide of insecurity.

“We have met with the President and have proffered our solutions and will continue to engage the authorities.

“If the interest of the governor of Ondo State is to protect the citizens that elected him into office, you cannot quarrel with him over that.

“But in doing that, there is also the need to strictly adhere to the laws of the land.”

Speaking on Governor Yahaya Bello’s position on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chairman of the NGF said that Bello is entitled to his own opinion over the reality, but he shouldn’t risk the lives of citizens of his state.

“We occupy responsible leadership positions and positions of trust.

“When our citizens are concerned about their healthcare, I don’t think the most appropriate way to respond is to be dismissive of their fears.

“I can assure you that the preponderance of views at the level of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, believe that COVID-19 is real and we need to respond to the challenges that have emanated from the pandemic.

“This is not just a health issue for us. It is an economic issue and a security issue. It behoves us as leaders to work in concert and in unity with the federal authorities.

“This is not a Nigeria problem. So if the intention is to eliminate Nigerians for whatever reason— if you are to believe the approach taken by my brother and neighbour from Kogi State(Governor Bello)— then it’s a case of you believe this you believe anything.

“I understand who also feels we should not just give up because of COVID- 19 and not continue to run our lives and economy. We don’t want complete lockdown.

“We are not talking of just pharmaceutical responses, but non-pharmaceutical responses as well. It’s for the good of our people. People are dying, even in Kogi State.

“We will continue to appeal to our brother. He may have a different opinion, which he is entitled to. But he should nor risk the lives of the citizens of his state.”

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