The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has assured the people of the state that “nobody is coming to take our land,” responding to anxieties that “outsiders” are eyeing the southwestern state for settlement.
He said non-indigenes wishing to do business in the state must respect the culture of the indigenous people and must pursue their interests in line with the law of the land.
The governor 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 witness deployment of more soldiers, armed policemen and other security agencies so that they can be safe at all times.
The governor made the remarks on Monday 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 a suspected gunmen last Saturday.
Addressing community leaders and other residents during the visit, Governor Fayemi said that he was saddened by the killing of Ilori, who he described as a one of the leaders of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the town.
The governor who spoke in Yoruba during the visit said investigation had commenced on the attack on Saturday, promising to do everything possible to arrest the killers and bring them to justice.
He also condemned opposition party elements for politicizing the incident by alleging that he was planning to give Ekiti land to “outsiders” in exchange for future political ambition.
“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,” Fayemi stated.
“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.
“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 together.
“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 reoccurrence 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.