Farmers in Ondo state have given a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government for the release of a former minister, Olu Falae, who was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Akure on Monday.
The farmers, who are members of the Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association, on Wednesday, summoned a meeting in Akure warning that the failure to release Mr. Falae would elicit a reaction from the farmers that would make an impact across the country.
Chairman of the Association, Akin Olotu, while addressing journalists after the meeting, urged the Federal Government to secure Mr. Falae’s release within seven days.
“What we are saying is that the abduction of Chief Falae is unacceptable to we farmers in Ondo state and Southwest,” Mr. Olotu said.
“We therefore give seven-day ultimatum to the federal government to secure the release of Chief Falae, if he is not released within the next seven days, the farmers in Ondo State will take action that will have a national impact. We should not forget the Agbekoya war in the old Oyo State.
Mr. Olotu noted that the activities of Fulani herdsmen in the state had become a serious problem and that the nomadic system of cattle rearing in Nigeria was obsolete.
He called on the government to review the system and do something about it urgently in the interest of farmers and herdsmen.
” The herdsmen are now turning to armed robbers, they rape, and kidnap, they are now seriously threatening the lives of the people of our communities in this state and if you report to the police, nothing will be done. Now they have kidnapped one of our elders. We will not take this any longer,” Mr. Olotu said.
The Peoples Democratic Party in the state said in a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Ayo Fadaka, that the criminal incursion of the herdsmen into the state had become worrisome.
“This type of brigandage that is currently happening in the state must stop,” Fadaka said.
“We therefore use this opportunity to call on the law enforcement agencies to do all in their power to apprehend and bring to justice those responsible for this indecent assault on the person and status of Chief Olu Falae.
“We also want to emphasise that, tackling these type of crimes by every state can only be possible if the much needed restructuring of our federalism is prosecuted with urgency as this will give every state the constitutional power to organize and control its own security as it obtains in other notable federalisms around the world.
“The current constitution describes Governors as Chief Security Officers without any security organisation directly under their controls.”
According to him, the issue of State Police is a desire that must be met at once as many challenges hitherto unknown in our clime now bestrides it with sheer force.
“Nigeria can no longer pretend that the security tactics and format of the 19th century will effectively address the challenges of this century. We urge those holding Chief Falae to release him forthwith and also call on the security agencies to upscale their act, locate and release Chief Falae immediately,” Fadaka added.
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