The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State have disagreed on the causes of herdsmen attacks and killings in the state.
While the APC had accused the Ayo Fayose-led government of creating a hostile environment for the herdsmen through his anti-grazing laws and his refusal to allow for cattle colonies in the state, the PDP believes that such comments showed ”a tacit approval for the wanton killings and destruction of farmlands by the herdsmen.”
The Deputy Chairman of the APC in the state, Kemi Olaleye, while blaming the attacks on the anti-grazing law enacted by the Ayo Fayose administration, said Mr. Fayose should be held culpable for the killings perpetrated by the herdsmen.
Mrs. Olaleye who spoke on Saturday while featuring on radio programme in Ibadan, Oyo State, said establishing cattle colonies was the way forward.
She urged herdsmen in Ekiti State to be patient and wait for the APC to take over government in October this year for cattle colonies to be created in Orin Farm Settlement in Orin Ekiti, Aramoko Ekiti Forest Reserve, Itapaji Dam Area, Oke-Ako, Ise-Emure axis and Otun Ekiti.
“We will create cattle colonies in Ekiti State when we return to power and there is no argument about that,” she said.
But the PDP in a statement on Monday, accused the APC of backing the herdsmen in their continued killings of farmers and destruction of farmlands in the state.
The statement which was signed by the state Publicity Secretary, Jackson Adebayo, said it was strange that the APC never said a word to condemn the ”murder of innocent sons and daughters of Ekiti State,” as well as destruction of farmlands.
The statement said instead of showing empathy and supporting the efforts of the State Governor, the APC and its leaders had been inciting the herdsmen, especially its umbrella organisation, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association against the government.
“They are even saying that they will create cattle colonies in the State if they return to power and we wonder how a responsible political party will because of quest for power go into agreement that will cede lands in the State to people who are embarking on wanton killings and destruction of farmlands,” the statement read.
“If they claim they are not giving tacit support to herdsmen, Ekiti people should ask the APC people one single press statement they issued to condemn the killings by herdsmen, calling for arrest of the perpetrators.
“Rather than condemning the herdsmen killings in Oke Oke, Orin, Okemesi, Aiyede, Ipao and other places, what the APC and its obviously heartless leaders have been doing is to criticise Governor Fayose for the anti-grazing law and visiting Benue State to commiserate with Governor Samuel Ortom and the people of the State over the killings of 73 people by herdsmen.”