The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Ekiti State has warned Governor Kayode Fayemi against ceding Ekiti lands for herders to build ranches.
The PDP said that such a move was against the wishes of Ekiti people, who believed that their lands are ancestral and as such precious to them and should not be forcefully hijacked to please the herdsmen at their own expense.
Publicity Secretary of the party, Raphael Adeyanju in a statement issued on Thursday in Ado Ekiti , accused the governor of secretly plotting to acquired lands in six locations across the state to satisfying the yearnings of the herdsmen.
Adeyanju said the action, which he described as devilish and self-serving would be resisted by all well-meaning and progressive Ekiti people across party, religious and traditional divides.
The PDP spokesperson disclosed that in no distant time, the government would initiate a policy under the guise of acquiring lands to boost agriculture and promote food security, which is expected to be a smokescreen to hijack lands to please the herdsmen to advance Governor Fayemi’s presidential ambition.
“It is no longer news that Governor Fayemi has been hobnobbing with some political interests to advance his presidential ambition not minding what happens to his people at home. But charity they say begins at home.
“We reliably gathered from those in his government that the present APC government in Ekiti was planning to hijack lands in six towns of Omuo Ekiti, Emure, Oke Ako, Otun, Okemesi, and Ipole Iloro, “ he said
He added that: “The idea was that there would be two ranches in each of the three Senatorial districts and these lands would be acquired by deceiving landowners that the State wants to embark on aggressive food production through a policy that will be introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture.
“We heard from grapevine sources that the Registration the government undertook for herdsmen just recently was meant to ascertain the number of lands that will be required to settle them into the proposed ranches, even when they lied to the people that it was for identification. This became doubtful because a lot of our people are still being attacked on their farms and no one has been arrested as of now.
“Some traditional rulers who got wind of this evil plot recently raised an alarm. But impeccable sources revealed to us that the government was planning to reintroduce the unpopular ranching policy through another policy.
“We want our traditional rulers, Chiefs, and every lover of Ekiti to be on alert and join progressive forces to stop this evil plot.
“Politics apart, no one is happy with the increasing rate of kidnapping in Ekiti at present. The suspected herders were kidnapping our citizens and even desecrating the traditional institutions with the shooting of Elewu of Ewu Ekiti, Oba Adetutu Ajayi, and the kidnapping of Obadu of Ilemeso Ekiti, Oba David Oyewumi.
“So, all lovers of peace should beg Governor Fayemi not to sacrifice the Ekiti people’s souls on the altar of politics.”
However, Director of Media and Publicity of All Progressives Congress(APC) in Ekiti, Elder Sam Oluwalana has described the statement as a lie from the pit of hell, saying the Governor and the State Government have no such plans on the horizon.