By Dayo Johnson
FARMERS in the four communities in Ondo state set ablaze by suspected Fulani herdsmen over grazing disagreement and destruction of their farmlands Tuesday cried out to the state government to save them from total extinction from their homeland.
The Communities include Adewole, Olotin, Apedu, Olondan, Jojo in lgbatoro/Ala/Imafon all in the state capital.
They said that they have been farming in their homeland for decades and vowed to resist any attempt by ” strangers” to forcefully evict them and take over their farmlands.
Recall that scores of the farmers fled the communities when the herdsmen allegedly invaded the villages on reprisal attack after the farmers had chased them away from destroying their farmlands while their cows grazed.
However, on Sunday night, the herdsmen reportedly came in large numbers and burnt down houses in the villages. The residents of the villages had to run away for their lives.
Speaking yesterday on behalf of the farmers, the Head of Apedu Community, Mr Adegoroye Oro expressed fear and displeasure over the incessant invasion of their farmlands by herdsmen both day and night under the pretext of grazing.
Adegoroye said this unlawful activity of the herders had on several occasions led to malicious damages of their farm crops.
He therefore passionately appealed to the government to save the community from future attack and continuous damages to their Crops.
Meanwhile, the state command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC had deployed its Agro Rangers Squad to the communities.
A statement by the State Commandant of the NSCDC, Commandant Phillip Ayuba said that the invasion by the suspected herdsmen “shouting in desperation for food and money from the hands of the Community” occurred at about 12midnight last Sunday.
Ayuba said ” the squad visited the scene of the incident and gathered that suspected herders shot sporadically into the air to scare the people but there were no casualties.
” The community was not deserted when we got there and we did not keep vigil there. The Special Assistant to the Governor on Security matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo led a delegation with our officers and men to the Community on Monday 20th, April 2020 to ascertain the incident.
Ayuba, therefore, expressed the readiness of the Agro Rangers Squad to provide adequate Security as well as mediate between Farmers and Herders in case of any eventualities.
Meanwhile, the SSA to the Governor on Security matters, Alhaji Dojumo said the “state government will do her best to unravel the mystery behind the occurrence so that parties involved could be reconciled in due course.