Palpable confusion pervades the air for cattle rearers in parts of Delta state Friday as a traditional ruler in the area, the Ovie (King) of Idjere, Ethiope West local Government Area, HRM Erhiekevwe 1, on Thursday evening debunked media publication to the effect that he had ordered Fulani herdsmen to quit his domain within nine days or risk the wrath of his people, saying ‘‘I ordered cattle only to leave everywhere within the geography of my kingdom and not their herdsmen.”
While explaining further he said, ‘‘The herdsmen have lived with us for ages. We have no problem with them. However, we have problems with what they do while grazing, which include; raping, killing of innocent people, destruction of crops and they have become nuisance, so I ordered their cattle to leave my kingdom, not the herdsmen.’’
In a swift response, however, spokesmen of the herdsmen, Malam Garuba Aliu, said, ‘’Can the monarch order our cattle out of his domain without us leaving? Can the cattle leave without us? If the king ordered our cattle to leave his domain, that order connotes that we the herdsmen should leave too. In fact, the order applies more to us than our cattle.’’
“Besides, we have being living here for several decades. We own families, settlements and other stakes in this land, can we move all these out in nine days? We are confused!” he said, apparently in dismay.