Residents of lsokun area of Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State were thrown into another confusion, following a fresh attack by Fulani herders, as they allegedly macheted a retired school principal, Mr. Ogunmodede Ojedokun, on his farm last Saturday afternoon.
The 62-year-old Ojedokun was attacked and had his hands almost cut off by the herdsmen.
While narrating the incident to Vanguard, the son of the victim, Mr. Olumide Ojedokun said his father and four other people went to the farm, while they met a Fulani herder taking his cows to his farm to graze.
According to him, the said Fulani herdsman was in the habit of grazing on Ogunmodede's farm, which resulted in destroying his crops on several occasions.
His words: "My dad went to his farm in the company of four other people. They met this Fulani guy already grazing on his farm. He has been in the habit of bringing his cows to my father's farm to destroy his crops and he warned him not to allow his cows to enter his farm again.
"But later, that same herder took his cows to where they spread yam flower on the rock and the cows fed on the yam flower spread on the rock; the cows finished the whole thing. So, it was then my father and the four other people that went to the farm tried to trace him to his hut so that they can report him to his elders.
"It was my father that sighted him where he was hiding behind a tree during their search for him. On getting to know my father had sighted him, he brought out his machete and attacked my father.
"My father started shouting for help, but before other people could get to the scene, he had macheted him, nearly chopping off his hands.
"Consequent upon that, we took him to the police station with blood gushing out from his injured hands. It was at the police station they instructed us to take him to the hospital.
"Ibarapaland, especially, Igangan has no security architecture in place. We have become slaves in our land to the herdsmen. We can't sleep with our two eyes closed again. We don't know who will be the next victim. We are living in fear of the unknown."
Herdsmen still destroying our farmlands-- Ibarapa Farmers Union
Also speaking with Vanguard, the Secretary of Ibarapa Farm-ers Union, Taiwo Adeagbo said the herdsmen had not stopped destroying farms and attacking farmers in the area despite the public outcry against their criminal activities.
He said: "The victim is my relative. He is a retired principal and he should be around 62 years old. I was called to see what happened to him. I immediately called the Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko.
She said I should report to the police officially and I called the DPO in Ayete. He came with two officers and two vans loaded with armed policemen.
"The DPO could not look at the pictures of the victim. They were gory. Thin skin is preventing the two hands from falling off after the attack. The two hands are almost off. They have ruined his life."
We'll not rest until we flush out killer herdsmen--Sunday Igboho
When contacted on the incident, Yoruba freedom fighter, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Igboho, vowed not to relent until criminally-minded herdsmen are flushed out from Yorubaland.
Speaking with vanguard, Igboho said: "They attacked our people now, nobody raised alarm. If we retaliate, they will now say Sunday Igboho has started again. Should we continue to fold our arms while they perpetrate their dastardly act?
"But I assure you, they will pay dearly for what they have just done. We will not become slaves in our land. We have now risen to take our future into our hands.
"Anyone who is against this noble cause is a bastard. We don't want them again, enough is enough. We don't want forced marriage again. We accommodated them, now they have turned us into slaves. If we launch attack again, nobody should blame us."
Police vow to fish out perpetrators of attack Speaking on the attack, the Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Mr. Olugbenga Fadeyi, said it was a reprisal by a herder to an earlier attack against three Fulani by some youths in Igangan.
Fadeyi said: "Information from DPO Ayete revealed that a Fulani herdsman attacked and macheted a man in his farm by causing injury to his hands. The attack was a reprisal by some youths in Igangan, three Fulani herdsmen were attacked and they sustained injuries while they were rushed to a hospital in Igboora for treatment.
"But we are currently carrying out necessary investigation and we will always brief you as events unfold."
Vanguard News Nigeria