Herdsmen Invites Armed Kinsmen To Dominate Oyo Farms, Says Monarch
Fulani herdsmen, who on Sunday seized hectares of farmlands at Ayete in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State, on Monday consolidated their hold on the farms despite the visits of the state Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, to the area on Sunday and Monday. The Asawo of Ayete, Oba Emmanuel Okeniyi, on Monday said the leader of the herdsmen, Iskilu Wakili, had invited his armed kinsmen to join him on the farms. He added that the herdsmen had started cutting down cocoa trees and burning cashew plantations. Farmers in Kajola and Gbagban Idere village, under Ayete, confirmed what the traditional ruler said.
Governor Makinde, during a meeting with selected stakeholders, local government chairmen and political office holders from the Ibarapa zone in Igbo Ora, declared that the problems of the zone were his problems and responsibilities. He said that the state had approved the inauguration of Peace and Security Committee at the local government level, adding that the state government would put in place other security measures to ensure peace in the area. He also disclosed that the government had directed the immediate take off of an identity management programme to enable it to know who is who in the communities. Meanwhile the acting Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has said that the corps would soon dispatch more agro ranger men to protect farmers and prevent clashes between them and herdsmen in Oyo State. He said the farmers and herders clashes could cause food insecurity in the country, adding that the NSCDC was determined to resolve the crises.
In a related development, concerned individuals in Igbaja Community in the Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State on Monday staged a peaceful protest to the palace of the traditional ruler, Elese of Igbaja, against alleged atrocities of herdsmen to their lives and property. While at the Elese Palace, where monarchs in Ifelodun Local Government Area were having their meeting, the traditional rulers addressed the protesting people, saying the agenda of their meeting was basically on the issue of herdsmen activities in Ifelodun communities. The herdsmen in the area were accused of being the perpetrators of incessant invasion of farms, stealing and killings, rape females in the community.The concerned individuals said that the actions of the herdsmen had instilled fear on the Igbaja community. However, the head of Fulani in Igbaja, confirmed that the accusations were true, and implored the people to be patient, saying deliberate efforts were being made to address the matter.