The Ondo State Government has told the Presidency that the seven-day quit notice issued was not to evict Fulanis and other non-indigenes residing in the state but to some herders that have taken over forest reserve across the state.
It added that the herders, who had taken over the forest reserve, engaged in kidnapping and other criminal activities, using it as a base to hold anyone abducted from neighbouring states and within Ondo.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, while reacting to the statement by the Presidency against the state directive that banned unregistered Fulani herdsmen from the forest reserves on Wednesday faulted the stance.
This came hours after the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, cautioned the government against embarking on the action claiming that the planned action was unconstitutional.
Ojogo said: “The Ondo State Government did not ask Fulani to leave the state, rather, those that are unregistered and occupying large acres of land set aside for forest reserve.
“What we discovered that some of these herdsmen engage in criminal activities and after perpetrating the act, they return to the forest where they also use as an abduction base.
“This action was not taken unilaterally rather the interest of all residents were considered before issuing the quit notice because we cannot allow things to nosedive completely before taking necessary actions to end the act within the state”, he added.