Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, says Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, is “struggling hard to export banditry” to the southern parts of the country.
The governor was reacting to comments made by el-Rufai, criticising the ban on open grazing of cattle by the southern governors.
While speaking with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, el-Rufai said the governors in the region are passing “legislation that you know that you cannot implement”.
But in a statement issued by Donald Ojogo, commissioner for information and orientation, Akeredolu said el-Rufai’s opinion is “laced with mischief”.
“Governor Nasir el-Rufai, if he was properly quoted and his views not misrepresented, is struggling hard to export banditry to the South under an expressed opinion that is laced with mischief,” the statement reads.
“In these days and times, anyone who makes statements such as that allegedly made by the governor belongs to a class of an unenviable ilk masquerading as leaders.
“There is no wisdom in condemning/banning open grazing, prohibiting inter border movement of cattle in the North, including Kaduna, with accompanying disapproval of a law that gives bite to same, in another part of the country.
“Perhaps, it is apt to state clearly that the likes of Governor el-Rufai are already in a hysteric ‘mode’ of escalating and indeed, externalising banditry, especially, as the military onslaught against criminal elements and other terror variants suffices in the North.”
“Such comment like that of the Kaduna Governor, if indeed he made that statement, merely seeks to encourage anarchy under the guise of resentment of law by affected stakeholders.
“In order words, it is a cleverly crafted path towards replicating in the South, the most despicable situation in the North, that Nigerians of goodwill daily pray to overcome. It’s a ploy beyond the ordinary.”
“The Anti-Grazing Law, especially in Ondo State, has come to stay. It shall be zealously guarded and conscionably deployed to protect all residents of Ondo State, notwithstanding their ethnic and religious biases. Those who have nothing evil to perpetrate have nothing to fear as regards the Law.”