The opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State has claimed that Governor Kayode Fayemi was serving the “interests of herdsmen” in order to further his alleged 2023 presidential ambition.
Backstory: The PDP made the statement following the murder of Emmanuel Ilori, a local hunter, by suspected armed herdsmen. The PDP National New Media Group’s spokesperson, Bola Agboola claimed without substantive evidence that Governor Fayemi’s ambition is the reason for his sympathy for the herdsmen and accused him of sacrificing the well-being of his people on the altar of politics.
- “The governor has not taken a single drastic action against the menace of herdsmen in the state. Even when one of his aides, the Coordinator of Anti-Grazing Task Force Marshals, Sola Durodola insisted that Fulani herdsmen must be registered in Ekiti, the governor sacked him….
- “Also, it is on record that during his electioneering campaign in 2018, Fayemi said that killings by herdsmen will only stop if lands were provided for the herdsmen as their permanent settlements.”
Governor Fayemi’s reaction: During a sympathy visit to the area where the attack was carried out, Fayemi debunked the allegations leveled against him by the PDP. According to Fayemi, “Nobody is coming to take our land in Ekiti, the governor of Ekiti State has power over the land of Ekiti and it is the person that the governor gives land in Ekiti that can use the land of Ekiti.”
He also talked about some of his government’s security plans: “I want to assure you that our government has not stopped work on security. One of the steps is that our local hunters will work with our security agencies…. The local hunters know their areas and terrains very well than the men of our security agencies and it will serve the people well if they work together.”
Bottomline: The PDP’s claims cannot be substantiated and should be dismissed as conspiracy theory. However, Governor Fayemi should do more than just talk about the issues and get to work.