Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has declared that most kidnappers in the State’s forest reserves speak Fulfulde.
Akeredolu, who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, said the kidnappers were using Ondo forest reserves to perpetrate crimes.
According to the governor, “What we had to address in Ondo State is essentially our discovery that some criminal elements were using our forest reserves to perpetrate crimes and we said, look, we’re not going to stay by and just watch this happen.
“People are kidnapped, they are not kidnapped and taken into a house; most of those who were kidnapped have come back, and we have debriefed them, we’ve been briefed by all of them, and we know essentially the group of people involved and that they were taken into our forest reserves.
“How am I to know where they have come from? How did you allow them in, in the first instance. My duty is not to profile those who come into the country, but all I know very clearly is that those who are perpetrating this crime speak the same language, they have a common language like some people here in this country. That is where our problem lies.”
He added, “Most of them [kidnappers] were speaking Fulfulde, and there is no need for us to run away from it. This’s a common language that is spoken across the length and breadth, particularly in West Africa and North Africa. So, if they come in, how did they come in?
“Miyetti Allah doesn’t have to defend these people if they aren’t their members. There is no need to defend them; let us treat them as what they are –criminals and they (Miyetti Allah) themselves should support us in getting them out.”