By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
PAN- Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, the umbrella body of traditional rulers, leaders, and people of the coastal states of Niger Delta, yesterday, took the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Mr. Garba Shehu, to the cleaners over his statement castigating Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State over the ultimatum handed to criminal herdsmen to vacate forest reserves in the state.
Speaking through its National Publicity Secretary, Hon Ken Robinson, the regional group described Shehu’s statement as “irresponsible.”
“It is most unfortunate that a presidential spokesman has slumped to become ‘mouthpiece’ of herdsmen.”
“This pushes the envelope on the arrogance and nepotic penchant of certain officials of the Buhari administration.
“It is disturbing that a legitimate order by a governor against a group of people who have been ‘illegally and forcefully’ occupying the lands of Ondo State is being questioned by a presidential aide.
“Is it not bad enough that this administration has been unable to take reasonable action against these herdsmen, for their violent crimes, across the country?
“PANDEF, therefore, urges President Muhammadu Buhari to call Mr. Garbu Shehu to order, while prodding Governor Akeredolu and the people of Ondo State to remain resolute.
“The callous and barbaric deeds being perpetrated by supposed herdsmen, should not be allowed to continue, anywhere in Nigeria.
“Innocent Nigerians are been killed or kidnapped almost every day; women can no longer, freely, go to their farms because of fear of being raped or molested.
“PANDEF further implores governors of the South West and other zones in the country to take similar stands, and speak out on the matter,” he said.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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