February 5, 2023

8 killed, women raped, houses set ablaze, farmlands destroyed as bandits sack Ondo communities


—- Bandits harvest crops, brings to market to sell

— Monarchs lament attacks

— Something will have to be done urgently to checkmate excesses of  herdsmen — Council chairman

— We’ve deployed our men to affected communities – Police

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

In renewed attacks by suspected herdsmen, no fewer than eight persons mainly farmers, have been gruesomely murdered at lmoru, Arimogija and  Molege axis of the Ose Local council area of Ondo state, within the last two weeks.

Reports had it that in the fresh attack,

several houses were set ablaze, women, were raped while over 40 hectares of farmlands were destroyed at Imoru, Arimogija and Molege communities by the herdsmen.

Locals who spoke with newsmen alleged that “the recent attack was triggered by an effort by farmers in the two communities to repel the continued wanton destruction of their crops by the rampaging herdsmen.

According to them the herdsmen also killed some traders and passengers in commercial vehicles.

Recall that herdsmen have continued to attack the two communities which share borders with neighbouring states.

The state government has expressed concern over the attacks by herdsmen who sneak into the communities from. neighbouring states, wreak havoc and sneak back unnoticed.

One of the community leaders,  Owolafe Folorunsho, while narrating their ordeals to newsmen, said that  “the herders have continued to invade our farmlands at night, harvest our crops to feed their cows and in many occasions, they will come during the day, forced us to uproot the cassava by ourselves at gunpoint, command us to cut them into pieces to feed their cows”.

“In order not to take laws into our hands, we reported this act of economic sabotage to the appropriate authority who took prompt action to chase them out of the farming areas only for them to come back and attacked us with AK-47, pump action, axes and cutlasses and killed our people at night”.

According to him, “in a broad daylight,  they laid ambush, attacked some traders coming from Akure and killed all the occupants before taking their money and set the car ablaze.

Speaking on the attacks, the Onimoru, Oba  Rotimi Obamuwagun,  lamented the atrocities of the herdsmen in the three communities.

Oba Obamuwagun expressed disgust about the criminal activities of the herdsmen in tge last three weeks.

The First class monarch, narrated how herdsmen have completely destroyed four hectares of cassava farm belonging to one of his subjects who borrowed money from a commercial bank to finance the farm.

Also, another monarch, the Odibiado of Ijagba, Oba Andrew Ikioya Ilevare, raised the alarm that the bandits have now resulted in harvesting their plantains and bringing them to market to sell. 

The chairman of the council,  Adekunle Dennis, during a visit to the attacked communities, expressed concern.

Dennis assured residents of the communities that the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has been briefed on the security situation.

According to him.” definitely, something will be done urgently to checkmate the excesses of the herdsmen.

The chairman said that stakeholders meeting with the relevant authorities will be held with the aim of redesigning the security architecture of all the flashpoints and to nip the security challenges in the bud.

Dennis called on the community leaders and the youth organizations to be more security conscious.

 He equally charged them to improve on intelligence information gathering that will enable them give give correct and useful information to the security agencies as government cannot do it all alone.

The chairman advised them to thoroughly profile and search themselves with a view to fishing out informants who may be living among them.

While commending the security agencies especially the Army, the Police, DSS and Amotekun Corps for a job well done,  the chairman, said that their timely intervention and prompt actions prevented the bandits from whipping the people of Arimogija from the surface of the earth.

 He pleaded with the security agencies to intensify efforts to recover the four camps, Molege, Ugboruwen, Elerinta and Adedigba from the herdsmen.

The state police spokesperson, Funmi Odunlami, confirmed. the renewed attack however said that ” men of the command have been deployed to the affected communities to restore peace.