The Ondo State Commander of the Western Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun, Adetunji Adeleye, has disclosed that over 9000 herders who ‘illegally’ found their way into the state through the border towns have been chased back.
Adeleye, who disclosed this while parading 31 suspects arrested for different crimes at the Command’s Headquarters in Akure, the state capital, explained that the herders always entered the state through the border towns at the dead of the night.
According to him, the Amotekun Corps was able to notice that the herders always come to Ondo through trucks with loads and would refuse security patrol to search them.
He said: “The reality is that in the last month, we have a very heavy annoying unusual influx of herdsmen to the state. We have to drive them back to where they came from.
“In the last one month, we have been confronted with over 9,000 herders against the laws of the land. They moved them in the midnight and they masquerade as different forms of criminals.”
Adeleye noted that the herders always come into Ondo through the border communities in Edo, Kogi and now Ekiti States with large numbers of cattle to perpetrate crimes.
He, however, emphasised that only herdsmen who registered with the state government would be allowed in the state, and warned the illegal ones to stay clear.
“So, the trend has been on for a long time, especially in the last month but we’re now working on different modalities of ensuring that only legitimate herders will be in the state. And the ones who are criminals and are not supposed to be in the state will be driven out of our forest,” Adeleye said.
While speaking on the suspects that were arrested by the Corps, Adeleye said that these 31 suspects were apprehended for crimes ranging from kidnapping, rape, burglary, rituals, stealing, arson and illegal possession of firearms among several others.
He noted that many of the suspects that were arrested mostly during the Easter holidays in various locations of Ondo State would be charged to court soon.