Nigeria: How Herders Unleashed Mayhem On Ondo Communities, Killed Residents - Amotekun

7 February 2023

The amotekun commander said one of the victims was burnt to death after suspected herders shot at his car and ignited a fire.

The police said the security agencies have deployed officers to Molenge and Arimogija communities in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State after suspected cattle herders allegedly killed six persons last week.

The commander of Amotekun Corps, the Southwest regional security initiative, Akogun Adeleye, on Monday said one of the victims was burnt to death after suspected herders shot at his car and ignited a fire..

Mr Adeleye said the herders invaded Arinmogija and its environs, but added: "As of this morning that I left the community (Arinmogija), the situation is normal.

"I learnt it started with a young man that went to buy petrol from Ute at Arimogija, ran into a herd of cows, injuring some of the animals.

"The owners of the cows opened fire on the car that was conveying petrol and the vehicle burst into flames with the man inside the car and he died.

"Also, a motorcyclist who was coming from behind was equally affected. There were other situations which security agencies may not want to disclose," he said to journalists.

"I want to specially thank the army and the police for joining hands with the Amotekun Corps, which helped to send the herdsmen away from the area."

"This is because we went right into the forest and we were able to chase them far away from the state," he added.

Mr Adeleye said his agency had put officers on ground in Ijagba and Arimogija to protect people in the community and its environs.

A community leader, Owolafe Folorunsho, provided further details of the incident. He said some gunmen had attacked the communities on Thursday after farmers took steps to stop repeated destruction of their crops by the herders.

"The herders have continued to invade our farmlands at night, harvest our crops to feed their cows and on many occasions, they would come during the day, force us to uproot the cassava by ourselves at gunpoint, command us to cut them into pieces to feed their cows," Mr Folorunsho said.

"In order not to take laws into our hands, we reported this act of economic sabotage to the appropriate authorities who took prompt action to chase them out of the farming areas, only for the Fulani herdsmen to come back and attack us with AK-47, Pump Action, axes and cutlasses and killed our people at night."

According to Mr Folorunsho, the terrorists, ambushed in broad daylight, attacked some traders going to the area from Akure and killed all the occupants in the vehicle before taking their money and setting the car ablaze.

Traditional rulers in the area had decried the renewed attacks, calling on the government to act. The Onimoru of Imoru, Rotimi Obamuwagun, lamented the atrocities of the herders in the area in recent times. He expressed sadness about the criminal activities of the herdsmen in his domain.

Also, the Odibiado of Ijagba, Andrew Ilevare, added that the bandits were harvesting farmers' plantains and taking them to the market to sell.

The monarchs wondered why the authorities allowed herders to go about with AK-47 rifles to terrorise innocent people.

They, however, lauded the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for the establishment of the South-west Security Network, popularly known as Amotekun to check the excesses of the herders in the area.

Also speaking on the development, the Chairman of the local government, Adekunle Dennis, who visited the troubled communities, said Mr Akeredolu was concerned by the security situation in Ose. He assured that something would be done urgently to check the excesses of the herdsmen.

Mr Dennis said the council would meet with the relevant authorities and stakeholders with the aim of monitoring the flashpoints to nip the security challenges in the bud.

While calling on the community leaders and youth organisations in the area to be security conscious, the council boss charged them to improve on intelligence and information gathering for the security agencies.

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