The Presidency has stepped in to avoid possible clash between herdsmen and officials of the Ondo State Government, who are to enforce the vacation order by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to herdsmen in the forest reserves.
Governor Akeredolu last Monday issued a seven- day ultimatum to herdsmen in the forests reserves to leave the area as part of measures to curb kidnappings and banditry.
Akeredolu said herdsmen, who wished to carry on with cattle-rearing business in the state, should register with appropriate authorities or get forced out.
The ultimatum ends on Sunday and the state government has gotten support from major stakeholders that the herdsmen must be made to leave the reserves.
It was gathered that national leadership of the Miyetti Allah was already in the State ahead of the meeting with Southwest Governors scheduled to hold in Akure on Monday.
Sources said it was the Presidency that directed the leadership of Miyetti Allah to hold the urgent meeting with governors of the region.
A media aide to one of the Southwest governors, who preferred anonymity, told journalists in Akure that his boss would attend the meeting.
According to him: “The whole thing was about misconception. We all know the Presidency misinterpreted the Ondo State government’s directive. They took it to mean a total action which intended to clear the state if all herders.
“And while admitting that the spokesman to Mr President acted hastily and without proper authorization, they (Presidency) have reached out to other governors to facilitate a meeting where the leadership of Miyyetti Allah would likely plead for time to comply with the directive.
“My principal is involved and very concerned too because this is a Yoruba matter and not a personal issue between Aketi and the herders.
“So we are coming to Akure for the meeting tomorrow at 12. We need to give the honour to our chairman, the governor of Ondo State who is even leading the fight against insecurity in the region”.
Ondo Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, said meetings were not unusual.
“Well, meetings of that nature, if true, are not unusual. We are all in it together. No ethnic group or a particular trade is the target of the government order. So it will be a welcome development if the meeting is holding. There is nothing too unusual about it”, he said.
Ondo Chairman of the Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, confirmed the scheduled meeting.