Franca Joseph (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The Chairman of Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State has issued a seven-day ultimatum to herdsmen resident in the area to vacate bushes they currently occupy in the council or have their structures demolished.
According to the LGA Chairman, the decision to issue the vacation order to the herdsmen was informed by the rising incidences of kidnappings, rape, armed banditry, killings and other security issues in the area, noting that despite Oshimili North local government playing host to Fulani herders, the decision to flush out the ones quartered in the bushes was informed by security exigences.
Excerpts of the ultimatum read:
“The ultimatum is a seven-day ultimatum. That doesn’t mean that some amendments or waivers would not be given. Or extension of time but the important thing to note is that we will come down heavily on defaulters.
“We have agreed with traditional rulers and stakeholders. We have informed the police and other security agencies.
“What we are saying is enough is enough. We don’t want to accommodate anybody in our bushes anymore. It’s about the security of our people.
“If you want to live in Oshimili Local Government, buy a piece of land and stop living in bushes”.
However, in reaction to the ultimatum, the herders, including men, women and children, took to the Benin-Asaba expressway to register their displeasure with the directive. The grievances of the herders was contained in a statement by their spokesperson, Idris Abubakar, excerpts of which reads:
“The Federal Government should come to our aid so they can allow us stay as legal occupants. The government should come to our aid and halt the local Government Chairman from passing this so-called executive order.
“Whoever is living in any place is a legal occupant of that place. We have receipts that they gave to us. We pay tenancy each year”