From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi has said the State has no land to relinquish to ‘outsiders’ except he is no longer the state administrator of Ekiti.
The Governor, who spoke while sympathising with the family of the late Emmanuel Ilori, a hunter, who was allegedly killed on Saturday by unknown gunmen, said no governor from the state will ever cede lands to strangers.
“If there are negative comments being peddled around, that some people are coming to take over Ekiti land, take over Orin land, take over Ido land, it’s a mere hearsay,” says Fayemi.
“It cannot happen in Ekiti, except I am no longer the governor of Ekiti State and there is nobody that can be governor in Ekiti that will cede Ekiti land to outsiders because our land is not even enough for us.”
Fayemi, who doubles as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), stressed that the deceased, until his death was one of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the town.
According to a report by The Nation, the governor however noted that the attack was being investigated. He promised to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to book.
He added that traditional hunters and security agencies would henceforth work together to ensure adequate security in the state.
According to him, more soldiers, armed policemen and other security personnel would be deployed in the state.
Speaking in his local language, Fayemi faulted the local chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for giving political colouration to the incident by alleging that he was planning to give Ekiti land to “outsiders” in exchange for a future political ambition.
He said the allegation lacked validity, insisting: “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.”
“Adequate security of our people is what concerns me most in Ekiti and Nigeria, and I want our people to ignore lies and falsehood some individuals are spreading around.
“There is nobody that will be governor in Ekiti that will allow outsiders to take over our communities from the people here or say that people coming from elsewhere should come and take over Ekiti (land).
“Those saying these are only playing politics with the matter. This is not politics; security is an issue that concerns all of us.”
Fayemi went on: “Some individuals have been spreading baseless rumours to cause disaffection because they are no longer in power and it is their wish that Ekiti should be consumed by anarchy. 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.
“Not up to three weeks now, our Kabiyesis (traditional rulers) and community leaders held a meeting and we deliberated on measures and ways to tackle security challenges.
“No single individual or group can do the work of security; 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.
“I am in Orin today (yesterday) to sympathise with you and tell you of the steps being taken by the government. There is no way we can be happy in Ekiti hearing that one of our people was killed, more so when the victim was one of our party leaders in Orin.
“Since the incident happened on Saturday, you have seen more soldiers and policemen here in Orin and they are on the trail of perpetrators and we will not relent in our efforts until they are found.
“Government will do everything possible to prevent a re-occurrence of what happened and from now, you will see more security people not only in Orin but in other parts of Ekiti. They are not here to fight you but to protect you.
“Those responsible for this shall be made to face the full wrath of the law. Other steps that will be taken will be revealed in due course.”
Speaking, the Eletin of Orin Ekiti, Chief Francis Falua, appreciated the governor’s visit and identifying with the people in their moment of grief.
Falua urged the government to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are arrested and brought to justice.