Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, says the state is not part of Chief Sunday Igboho and others agitatiion for a sovereign Yoruba State.
He said Ondo State people have elected to stay in the Federal Republic of Nigeria as constituted at present.
He said no part of the entire state, known and delineated as Ondo State, would permit any gathering or agitation which may suggest, however remotely, that the people are in support of what he termed ‘unthinking rabble rousing.’
Governor Akeredolu who spoke while swearing in Princess Catherine Oladunni Odu as the new Secretary to the State Government and other Special Advisers said the state would not subscribe to banditry and recklessness in putting forth its demands.
Akeredolu said the right of citizens to discuss, agitate and even fight to right perceived wrongs, culminating in self-determination, must be done within known and acceptable parameters and all concerned must agree to pursue the same objectives to achieve a desirable or desired end.
He noted that the reasons for the declaration of hostilities must not be fleeting fancies of disaffection engendered by perceived politics of exclusion for personal benefits.
According to him, “We will not be led to assured annihilation by anyone or a group of people, still smarting from the electoral defeats of recent times and presumed exclusion from the process of decision-making.
“Our people are knowledgeable enough to determine their interest at any point. If and when they consider self-determination as an option, they will not depend on external promptings to act. That is why we are different. That is why we are who we are.”
Governor Akeredolu vowed to continue to eject and punish all trespassers occupying forests reserves with a view to rid the state of undesirable elements.
He stated that anyone who intended to engage in a private business of animal husbandry in the state must be ready to abide with the modern methods or quit.
Governor Akeredolu said his administration would continue to arrest any under-age herders as well as prosecute the mindless handlers of “these unfortunate kids.’
He explained that his administration opted to participate in the Federal Government National Livestock Transformation Programme because it aimed at encouraging any private businessman who took interest in breeding cattle to participate in the modern methods for profit.
The Ondo Governor said it was not about a settlement of an ethnic group but a programme to be funded by the Federal Government in which the must be active participants.
“The State shall generate revenue from cattle feeding in ranches, slaughtering of cows, among others. Pastoralism is not the exclusive preserve of an ethnic group. Trends in the modern business of animal husbandry should be of direct concern to the State. The proposed ranches shall not be for human habitation in Ondo State. All those who bring in cattle and the herds shall be registered. Nobody will be allowed to form new settlements on our ancestral lands. Cattle rearing shall be for business, strictly, in Ondo State.”
Governor Akeredolu who condemned attack on the convoy of the Benue State Governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, urged security agencies to unmask the agents of darkness bent on throwing the country into a state of anarchy. He said the choice of Princess Odu symbolised the limitless possibilities of attainment for a well-trained female child.