• Monday, April 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

We’re under siege of herdsmen, Ondo community cries out

Fulani-herdsmen-1
Ijagba community in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State, has protested the incessant attacks,kidnappings and killings of residents by suspected Fulani herdsmen, saying “communities in the area are now under the siege of terrorists.”
The community, while raising the alarm over the unending criminal activities of herdsmen in their community on Thursday in Akure, the Ondo state capital, said; “we are constrain to inform the Ondo state government of the disheartening incident in Ose Local government south axis particularly in Ijagba town.”
Sunday Ogoh, the Prime Minister of Ijagba community, who spoke with journalists on behalf of the community said; “We came here to inform the whole world what is happening in our local government area most especially at Ijagba community, for the past two years we have not been having peace of mind in our community with a lot of kidnapping, killings, burning of our houses, farm lands by these Fulani herdsmen that had been terrorising the community.
“Just three days ago, we lost one of ourillustrious sons, by name Ohiremen Isaac Odeh while his son too, named Solomon Isaac Odeh, was also attacked on their way to the farm. Apart from that, in that area, we also lost one of our former Chairmen, Mr. Bola Adelegbe.
“In search for the victims in the bush, it was discovered that Mr. Ohiremen Isaac Odeh was killed by the abductors, while his lifeless body was found after trekking some kilometres in the bush.
“In same day, the remains of Mr. Ohiremen Isaac Odeh were deposited at the mortuary, while a ransom of four hundred thousand naira, (N400,000) was paid to the abductors to release his son.
“It is now imperative, due to the ugly incident to cry out and seek the support of the government and all relevant authorities to protect our lives and properties, which is one of the aims of the government since we can no longer go to the farm or sleep with our two eyes closed.
“This problem is not only limited to Ijagba, these Fulani herdsmen do operate in Imoru, Molege, Arimagija, Ute and Okeluse. That axis, there is no security in that area.
“So we are appealing to the state government that we need strong Military base, Nigerian Army to be specific, so that they can mount one or two checkpoints in the area between Ifon, Imoru, Ijagba, Ute and Okeluse in order to reduce the attacks of these Fulani herdsmen.
“Now many people cannot go to their farms, and whenever you’re going to the farm, you must be looking both your left and right and front and back because they can attack you at any time with their guns and weapons.
“The area has become the den of terrorists because there is a big forest reserve behind Okeluse, they use the place as their base and whenever they kidnap people they will ask for ransom and once you cannot give them the ransom within two to three days they will kill you. So we have lost about 20 souls in that areas in the last two years.
“We have reported to the state government and the security agencies in the state and the traditional rulers in those communities had held a several meeting but up till now we have not seen any positive response from the state government.”
Solomon Isaac Odeh, the son of the deceased, who was killed during the attack also confirmed the incident, adding that the herdsmen used rope to tie me and my father and they said that if their relatives could not pay the ransom they would kill us.
“They killed my father, while the sum of N400,000 was paid before they released me,” Solomon said.
Reacting to the attacks, the Police Spokesperson in the state, Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya said, “We are aware of the situation in the community and we are on top of the situation with a view to arresting those behind the attacks. I can assure you that with our investigation we will arrest the perpetuators.”