PALPABLE fear enveloped residents of the Oba community in the Obafemi Owode local government area of Ogun state yesterday following the invasion of the community by some shepherds. Vanguard found that the shepherds, who were seen along the road to the town of Oba, the community hosting the new Abeokuta correctional center and the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, began to erect structures and clean up the bushes around the main roads leading to the city, thus creating fears in the minds of the people.
Some residents of Oba and Alagada, who spoke to Vanguard, said that the presence of pastoralists had been noticed about three weeks ago when they saw tractors clearing some agricultural land around the village of Alagada, at about 200 meters from the new correctional facility in Abeokuta, and in three days about 20 of the huts typical of Fulani residences began to emerge.
Residents said the presence of shepherds around their community had become a source of concern for them, alleging that in a few days they had moved to the area, herders had allowed their cattle to destroy their farms while browsing In the region. Baale d’Oba, chief Oludiji Odejimi, who spoke with Vanguard, said that the way the herders came to the city calls for proper investigation by government and law enforcement. Odejimi said: “In fact, with the insecurity posed by these Fulani herders, I do not know why someone, in his right mind, will now invite them to settle in a place like this. “A higher institution is a few meters from this place. In addition, a government correctional facility is located approximately 100 meters from this location. How can someone allow them to come and settle here? It’s very dangerous. If we allow it without doing anything, this invasion is a time bomb. Oba Community Development Association public relations officer Samson Osoba said residents of villages in the region are now living in fear because of the unknown.