The Presidency has reacted to the directives issued by Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu asking herdsmen to vacate the Ondo State forest reserves.
This was according to a statement issued by the Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu yesterday.
Shehu said Gov. Akeredolu needs to draw a clear line between who the real criminals are and normal citizens who also needs protection while they go about their own lives.
“ Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, a seasoned lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and indeed, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has fought crime in his state with passion and commitment, greater sensitivity and compassion for the four years he has run its affairs and, in our view, will be the least expected to unilaterally oust thousands of herders who have lived all their lives in the state on account of the infiltration of the forests by criminals,” the statement read.
“We want to make it clear that kidnapping, banditry and rustling are crimes, no matter the motive or who is involved. But, to define crime from the nameplates, as a number of commentators have erroneously done- which group they belong to, the language they speak, their geographical location or their faith is atavistic and cruel.
“The government of Ondo, and all the 35 others across the federation must draw clear lines between the criminals and the law abiding citizens who must equally be saved from the infiltrators. Beyond law and order, the fight against crime is also a fight for human values which are fundamental to our country”, the statement concluded.