Peter Ayodele Fayose, the Ekiti state Governor and the number 1 critic of the Buhari administration came into national discourse on the Fulani herdsmen issue when several communities in Ekiti state were attacked by Fulani herdsmen a few years ago, he chose a solution mechanism that was unpopular to Nigerians then.
First thing he did was to place a ban on open grazing in the state, he moved further to strengthen that through an anti grazing bill which was hurriedly passed into law by the state house of assembly and consequently signed by him. The new law gave rise to the establishment of the Ekiti state anti grazing marshals which went on to arrest cows and herdsmen in the state acting contrary to the law, at a point, Fayose himself was pictured chasing cows in a bush along Ado-Ekiti.
It was not without friction as the Ekiti state Miyetti Allah kicked, he was able to reach a consensus with the herdsmen on why the law was necessary to prevent “killer herdsmen” from invading the state. Miyetti Allah accepted and this brought an end to Fulani herdsmen attacks in Ekiti.
While Fayose was implementing his guerrilla response to the unmitigated violence, he was condemned by many but he damned all consequences to protect his citizens. This is sharp contrast to the response to violence in Benue state by governor Samuel Ortom, who at first stated that the herdsmen were not Fulani and tried to convince his constituents that instead, escaped Boko-Haram terrorists were responsible for attacks in the state. The violence has continued, and Ortom has failed his citizens.
Now, Governor Ortom is trying to adopt Governor Fayose rapid fire response to the sectarian violence, after several hundreds of lives have been lost, with minimal cooperation from the Federal Government and civil unrest among the communities affected. It is too little, too late.