Residents of the communities of Imoru, Arimogija, and Molege in Ondo State’s Ose Local Government Area have asked the state and federal governments to protect them from the constant attacks by people who are thought to be killer-herdsmen.
The people who live there said that in the last two weeks, at least eight people have been killed and about 40 hectares of farmland have been destroyed. They said that most of the victims were farmers and business people.
A community leader named Owolafe Folorunsho talked about what happened. He said that the recent attack happened because the farmers stopped the herdsmen from destroying their crops.
He said, “The herders have kept coming into our farms at night to steal our crops and feed them to their cows. Sometimes they come during the day and force us to pull up the cassava by ourselves under threat of a gun and tell us to cut it up so they can feed their cows.”
“We didn’t want to break the law ourselves, so we told the right people about this act of economic sabotage. They moved quickly to get them out of the farming areas, but they came back and attacked us with AK-47s, pump-actions, axes, and cutlasses at night, killing our people.”
He also said that the gunmen recently set up a trap on the Akure-Benin Expressway and attacked a car full of traders coming from Akure. They killed everyone in the car, stole their money, and set fire to the car.
Prince Adekunle Dennis, who is the Chairman of the Ose Local Government, went to the affected communities and was saddened by what was happening. He said that something would be done right away to stop the suspected killer-herdsmen from going too far. He also told the governor of the state, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, that he was worried about security in the local government.
The chairman of the council said, “The council is meeting with the relevant authorities and stakeholders to redesign the security architecture of all the flashpoints in the area to stop security problems before they start.”
The head of the council told the community leaders and youth groups in the area to pay more attention to security and to get better at gathering intelligence and information. This would help them give the security agencies correct and useful information since the government couldn’t do it all by itself.
Dennis also said that the security forces did a good job, especially the Army, the police, the Department of State Services, and the Amotekun Corps. He said that their quick actions and timely help kept the terrorists from wiping out the people of Arimogija.
Oba Rotimi Obamuwagun, the monarch of the Imoru community, confirmed the attack and said that the suspected killer-herdsmen in the area were doing terrible things.
He was upset that they destroyed a cassava farm on four hectares that belonged to one of his subjects. To pay for the farm, the person borrowed money from a commercial bank at a high-interest rate.
When asked, Mrs. Funmilayo Odunlami, the Police Public Relations Officer for the state, said that the command had sent its men to the area.
The PPRO said, “We heard that there were random gunshots in the area, so we sent our men there.”