In the towns of Arimogija and Molege in the Ose Local Government Area of Ondo state, Fulani herdsmen have slaughtered no fewer than six farmers and traders.
A community leader who recounted the incident, Mr. Owolafe Folorunsho, said the new attack was brought on by farmers’ attempts to thwart the herdsmen’s continuous willful damage of their crops.
He claimed that the herdsmen had ambushed and attacked some 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 motorcycles were set on fire, and the families of the victims also killed some cows in retaliation.
“The herders have continued to invade our farmlands at night, harvest our crops to feed their Cows & in many occasions, they will come during the day, forced us to uproot the Cassava by ourselves at gunpoint, command us to cut them into pieces to feed their cows,” he said.
“In order not to take laws into our hands, we reported this act of economic sabotage to the appropriate authority who took prompt action to chase them out of the farming areas only for the Fulanis to come back and attacked us with AK-47, Pump Action, Axes & Cutlasses and killed our people at night”.
The Onimoru of Imoru, Oba Rotimi Obamuwagun, a distinguished traditional leader in the region who confirmed 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 herdsmen 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 armed with sophisticated guns, are growing bolder and approaching homes to bring farmers to the land and order them to remove cassava for their cows.
He pointed out that in addition to feeding cassava to their cows, the armed herdsmen have also begun to harvest other farm products to feed themselves.
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 herdsmen 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.