In the towns of Arimogija and Molege in the Ose Local Government Area of Ondo state, Fulani herdsmen have slaughtered no less than six farmers and traders.
A community leader who recounted the incident, Mr. Owolafe Folorunsho, claimed the new attack was brought on by farmers’ attempts to thwart the herdsmen’s continuous willful damage of their crops.
He said that the herdsmen had ambushed and assaulted several traders who were coming back to the town from Akure, killing everyone inside the car before lighting it ablaze and stealing their possessions and money.
During the attack, a lot of homes, automobiles, and motorbikes were set on fire, and the relatives of the victims also murdered several cows in retaliation.
The guy said that “the herders have continued to enter our farmlands at night, harvest our crops to feed their Cows, and in many occasions, they will come during the day, forced us to uproot the Cassava by ourselves at gunpoint, command us to chop them into pieces to feed their cows.”
“In order to avoid using the law against ourselves, we reported this economic sabotage to the proper authority who promptly took steps to drive them out of the farming regions only for the Fulanis to come back and attack us with AK-47s, Pump Action, Axes & Cutlasses, and slaughter our people at night.”
The Onimoru of Imoru, Oba Rotimi Obamuwagun, a distinguished traditional leader in the region who verified the invasion and attack on the residents of the communities, bemoaned the atrocities and criminal activity of the herdsmen in the region.
The king revealed that the herders had damaged more than four hectares of a subject’s cassava field, noting that the farm had been sponsored by a bank loan from a commercial bank.
According to him, the herders, who have always been equipped with sophisticated guns, are growing bolder and approaching houses to bring farmers to the land and force them to remove cassava for their cows.
He pointed out that the armed herders have started gathering other farm goods to eat themselves in addition to feeding their cows cassava.
Oba Andrew Ikioya Ilevare, the Odibiado of Ijagba, agreed and claimed that as a result of the bandits, plantains had been harvested and brought to the market for sale.
However, the traditional leaders questioned the need for herders to carry high-tech weaponry and demanded that the state government send more Amotekun officials to the region.
Funmi Odunlami, the state police command’s spokeswoman, commented on the situation and assured that the culprits would be apprehended quickly by stating that men from the command had been sent to the area.