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Sunday, October 17, 2021
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ONDO GOVERNOR TACKLES PRESIDENCY ON ITS STAND ON OPEN GRAZING

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who also the Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum yesterday, asked Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, to desist from comments that can plunge the country into serious crisis.

The Presidency had on Monday faulted the recent resolutions of the Southern Governors Forum, including the ban on open grazing in the Southern part of the country, adding that the Tovernors’ resolutions failed to provide any solution to the lingering crisis between farmers and herders in the country.

Governor Akeredolu said Garba Shehu who made mockery of the resolutions of 17 Southern Governors meeting in Asaba two weeks ago, had no right to speak for President Muhammadu Buhari and the Presidency on the farmers/herders’ clashes.

In a statement issued in Akure yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr. Doyin Odebowale, the Governor chided the Presidency’s response titled ‘Deep rooted solutions to the herdsmen attacks.’

He said about Garba: “He works, assiduously, for extraneous interests whose game plan stands at variance with the expectations of genuine lovers of peaceful coexistence among all people, whose ethnic extractions are indigenous to Nigeria.

“Garba must disclose, this day, the real motive(s) of those he serves, definitely not the President. He cannot continue to hide under some opaque, omnibus and dubious directives to create confusion in the polity. The easy recourse to mendacious uppity in pushing a barely disguised pernicious agendum is well understood.

“The declaration that the recommendations of the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, a mere political appointee like Garba Shehu, are now the ‘lasting solutions’ which eluded all the elected representatives of the people of the Southern part of the country, exposes this man as a pitiable messenger who does not seem to understand the limits of his relevance and charge.

“Garba contends that ‘their announcement is of questionable legality,’ referring to the 17 Governors of the Southern States, but the decision of certain elements to take the ancestral lands of other people to settle their kinsmen, including the ‘gun-wielding killer herdsmen’ and their families is not questionable legality.

“May we warn Garba and his cohorts to desist from hurling insults at the elected representatives of the people. He lacks the authority to make policy statements for the Federal Government, unless directed, expressly. His acts are clearly those of an agent provocateur. Other closet dreamers, aspirers to colonial fantasies, must be weaned off their delusion.

“No inch of the space delineated and known, currently, as Southwest, and indeed the whole South, will be ceded to a band of invaders masquerading as herdsmen under any guise.”

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