Chairman, Orhionmwon local government council, Hon. Sylvester Okoro, yesterday, reiterated his stand on his 14 days ultimatum issued to the Fulani herdsmen to leave his community, saying the lives and safety of his people cannot be undermined.
He lamented that since he assumed office, it has been series of kidnapping, rape of women in his council, armed robbery and all sorts of vices, and that all were atributed to Fulani herdsmen
Okoro who spoke shortly after a meeting called at the instance of the Edo State Commissioner of Police presided over by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ayodeji Faniyan, said that the council cannot be intimidated into submitting the lives of Orhionmwon residents on the altar of patronage as he officially swore to protect the lives and properties of the people.
The council boss, while acknowledging pleas from the Chambers of Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi on the need to be cooperative in ensuring a holistic documentation of genuine herders, lamented the role of the police to put the cart before the horse.
He, however, put DCP Ayodeji Faniyan on notice against his position that not even the state governor can order the vacation of herdsmen from a locality let alone a Council Chairman, a statement that clearly shows bias in favour of over 15 mobilized leaders of the Fulani herdsmen who hitherto never honours invitation to security meetings at the council.
He continued that, “the position of the council is unambiguous. We have given the Fulani herdsmen 2 weeks to vacate the local government to enable us carry out a proper documentation of the genuine herdsmen.
“They approached us for a one week extension which has elapsed.”
Okoro maintained that the refusal of the leadership of the herdsmen and the open rejection by community leaders in Orhionmwon is a match towards anarchy which the police is expected to prevent and not act otherwise.
He promised that further actions towards making sure that the steps taken by the council is implemented to the letter, including involvement of the state government.