Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State has issued a seven-day ultimatum to herdsmen, to vacate bushes they are residing in the council.
This follows an executive order given to them by the Local Government Chairman, Louis Ndukwe.
The executive order directs the herders to vacate the bushes within seven days, or have their structures demolished, according to Channels Telecision.
The local government chairman noted that the decision to evict the herders is due to the increasing rate of kidnapping, killing, maiming among other crimes in the area.
“The ultimatum is a seven-day ultimatum. That doesn’t mean that some amendments or waivers would not be given. Or extension of time but the important thing to note is that we will come down heavily on defaulters.
“We have agreed with traditional rulers and stakeholders. We have informed the police and other security agencies.
“What we are saying is enough is enough. We don’t want to accommodate anybody in our bushes anymore. It’s about the security of our people.
“If you want to live in Oshimili Local Government, buy a piece of land and stop living in bushes,” Ndukwe said.
The herdsmen were said to have taken to the Benin-Asaba highway to protest the order.
The herders including men, women and children, carried placards with various inscriptions, insisting they are not criminals but law-abiding citizens, who were born in the state.
Idris Abubakar, their spokesperson, said they are legal occupants of Oshimili and they pay rents.
“The Federal Government should come to our aid so they can allow us stay as legal occupants. The government should come to our aid and halt the local Government Chairman from passing this so-called executive order.
“Whoever is living in any place is a legal occupant of that place. We have receipts that they gave to us. We pay tenancy each year,” Abubakar stated.
In response to the protest, the LG chairman, insisted that the plan is not to victimise any tribe or persons, but to rid the bushes of criminals, who have used the place to perpetrate crimes.