Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, of Oyo State, has reacted to the statement by the Presidency, which disagreed with the ban on open grazing by the Southern Governors Forum.
The Presidency, in a statement on Monday, described the resolutions as “acts of politicking intended by its signatories to demonstrate power.”
In a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, the Presidency tackled the governors, insisting that it was an attempt to violate the rights of some Nigerians.
Reacting to the Presidency’s claim, Governor Akeredolu lambasted Shehu, describing the Presidential media aide as an agent provocateur.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale, titled, ‘Mr Garba Shehu: On the trail of an agent provocateur’, Akeredolu said Shehu wasn’t speaking for Buhari on the ban on open grazing, which is one of the resolutions of the SGF.
The statement read in part, “Mr Garba must disclose, this day, the real motive(s) of those he serves, definitely not the President.
“He can’t continue to hide under some opaque, omnibus, and dubious directives to create confusion in the polity.
“Mr Garba contends that “their announcement is of questionable legality”, referring to the 17 Governors of the Southern States, but the decision of certain elements to take the ancestral lands of other people to settle their kinsmen, including the “gun-wielding “killer herdsmen” and their families, and provide “veterinary clinics, water points for animals, and facilities for herders and their families including schooling through these rehabilitated reserves” for which “the Federal Government is making far-reaching and practical changes allowing for different communities to co-exist side-by-side”, does not appear to him as a comprehensive plan for land grabbing, a precursor to internal colonialism.
“Governors no longer have powers over the lands in their territories. They must take instructions from appointees of the Federal Government on such matters.
“It is clear that Mr Garba seems to have issues understanding the difference between licentious criminality and qualified rights under our law. It’s our duty to continually nudge him off his current state of cognitive dissonance. His pronouncement betrays dubiety and mischief.
“It raises suspicion on a grand, deliberate, persistent, and insidious design to use naked force to subjugate the real owners of the land. Mr Garba Shehu is a major supporter of the current pervasive anarchy in the land.