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Protest rocks Ogun communities over ‘attacks’ by suspected herdsmen

Farmers from over 12 villages at Oja Odan community and its environs in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State on Wednesday protested alleged attacks on them by suspected herdsmen.

They alleged that the attacks have resulted in the destruction of their crops by grazing cattle.

The farmers, who marched on the palace of the monarch, the Eselu of Iseluland, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi, alleged that one of them was killed last week by suspected herdsmen, who chopped off the hand of the deceased’s son.

They further alleged that they had lost millions of naira in crops to the over 8,000 herds of cattle that routinely grazed on their farms, devouring their crops and trampling down on others, as they moved indiscriminately from one end to the other.

The Jagun Oba of Iseluland, Chief Festus Olabode Aina, who spoke on behalf of the farmers at the palace of Oba Akinyemi, alleged that the herdsmen were intruders from Republic of Niger and Chad; and having been chased out of Republic of Benin by the country’s soldiers during the movement, moved into their villages and took over the farms and forest.

Moreover, Aina urged the traditional ruler to convey their plight to the state and federal governments to rescue them and drive away the herdsmen, fearing that there could be bloodshed as witnessed in 2007, should the “peace loving villagers’ patience” thin out and give way in self defence to direct confrontation with the herdsmen.

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Oba Akinyemi hailed the farmers for their peaceful conduct and advised them to continue to be calm.

He said they should not take the law into their hands, assuring them that their message would be communicated to the government.

Addressing reporters, the Eselu appealed to the government to intervene and order the suspected herdsmen to leave their community before things get out of hand.

The police command said it was aware of the protest.

It assured the people that security would be beefed up in the community to ensure safety.

Spokesman Abimbola Oyeyemi said that the police would put measures in place to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

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