Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, has quoted President Muhammadu Buhari as giving governors a directive to ensure people do not block “cattle routes” in their states.
According to him, the president said: “People are building houses to block cattle routes.”
Fayose, who was speaking during a programme on Ekiti State Television (EKTV), said Buhari made the comments during the federal executive council meeting “last week”.
The Newsmen could not verify the time the meeting occurred because the programme was recorded.
Fayose said the president has not done enough to tackle the continuous clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country, adding that “if I were to be president of Nigeria, I will not act the way President Buhari is behaving (regarding the crisis)”.
He said similar incidents have happened in countries like Ghana and “they took decisive decision”.
The Ekiti governor said: “The president must be courageous enough to end these mindless killings. He is the president and he has what it takes.
“If I am the president of Nigeria, I will take appropriate steps and stand it down. A criminal is a criminal, whether Hausa man or Yoruba man. If you commit crime, you go in for it.
“I remember when we were in a meeting last week, the president was saying that people are blocking cattle routes. Have you heard that before? How can the president say people are blocking cattle routes? There is no cattle route in Ekiti in the 21st century.
“The president of Nigeria was saying governors should go and make sure they don’t block cattle routes. He said people are building houses to block cattle routes. I was laughing, I didn’t know what to say in council. I just left.”
The Newsmen was unable to independently verify the governor’s claims as neither Femi Adesina nor Garba Shehu, both presidential spokespersons, responded to inquiries on the issue.