Against Federal Government’s planned establishment of Ruga settlements so far in 12 states in the country, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the Ekiti State Governor, Monday, assured that nobody coming from outside the state will be allowed to take over the land of its people.
Fayemi gave the assurance when he paid an early morning visit to the people of Orin-Ekiti in Ido/Osi local government area to commiserate with them on the killing of a farmer, Mr. Emmanuel Ilori, by suspected herdsmen last Saturday.
Addressing community leaders and other residents during the visit, Fayemi said: “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.
“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.
“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.”
Recall that as Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, Fayemi while addressing journalists said the Ruga initiative had been blown out of proportion.
He said no state would be forced to surrender its land to the Federal Government for the project.
The governor, however, said non-indigenes wishing to do business in the state must respect the culture of the indigenous people and must pursue their interest in line with the laws of the land.
He said that traditional hunters and security agencies will henceforth work together to ensure adequate security for the people of the state.
Fayemi said the people of the state will now witness deployment of more soldiers, armed policemen and other security agents so that they can sleep with their two eyes closed.
Expressing sadness over the killing of Ilori, one of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the town, he said investigation had commenced on the attack on Saturday, promising to do everything possible to arrest the killers and bring them to justice.
The governor, who spoke in Yoruba during the visit, also condemned opposition elements for seeking to make a political capital out of the incident by alleging that he was planning to give Ekiti land to “outsiders” in exchange for future political ambition.
“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.
“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.”
Speaking further, Fayemi said: “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
“I am in Orin today to sympathize 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 recurrence 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.”
The governor, who said he felt a sense of loss with the people of Orin, urged them to be peaceful and law abiding as investigation into the killing continues.
While praying God to grant the deceased eternal rest, Fayemi promised that his administration will partake in the burial and assist the family