Farmers injured, others flee as suspected Fulani herdsmen strike in Ondo community
Armed Fulani herdsmen struck in Ajegunle/Powerline community of Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, injuring farmers for kicking against the destruction of their farms by the cows.
According to the Nigerian Tribune, the armed men launched their gruesome attack on farmers, attacked the community on Monday, February 27, 2023.
This comes a few weeks after farmers in Arimogija community in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State were attacked and chased out of their farms by suspected herdsmen.
The latest attack which resulted in several persons in Ajegunle being injured and taken to the hospital has left the communities deserted over the fear of another attack by the armed herdsmen.
The marauding herders were said to have extended their onslaught to Ago-Dada and Ago Oyinbo, instilling fear in the farmers who have fled to nearby towns.
Speaking on the recent attack, the representative of the farmers in the area, Abraham Olowo, confirmed the incident and said that the community has been overrun by the assailants who have been attacking farmers indiscriminately on their farms. He added that the residents have fled the community.
According to him, the herdsmen have attacked the communities more than five times within the last week. He called for the urgent intervention of the state government before the herdsmen take over the communities.
He disclosed that some of the farmers that had been injured and were in a critical state in the hospital.
“The attacks started two weeks ago, but the climax of it all is the attack they carried out few days ago which almost resulted in the death of two of the farmers in the community. They are currently in the emergency unit of a private hospital in the state,” he said.
“The herdsmen have continued to invade our farmlands, attacking farmers and injuring them. They usually come in the night and early in the morning, carting away our food, destroying our farm products, and even macheting farmers who resist them.
herders and their cows on crops such as rice, maize, vegetable and cocoa plantation has reduced farmers’ efforts to nothing,” he said.
“We had to rush Daramola to the hospital. We initially thought he was dead until the doctor attended to him and admitted him at the hospital. He was macheted on the severally on the head, and they have stitched the head. It is not a good sight to behold, but the man is still in coma.
“We have raised an alarm over the incident but many of the residents had fled over fear of being killed. We are calling on the government to wade into the matter and save us from these bloodthirsty herders.”
An octogenarian, Alabi Yusuf, said despite the passage of the Ondo State anti-grazing law, herders are still on rampage, raping, killing, injuring farmers and destroying farms.
He said the law forbids anyone to engage in open rearing or grazing of livestock, but it appears there is no enforcement. He said that herdsmen not only engage in open grazing, but also kidnap, kill and rape members of the community.
He lamented that the activities of the herders and their cows have been threatening food production in the state, adding that the herdsmen crisis has defeated the desire of the state government to encourage farming in order to boost food security by increasing local production of staple foodstuff.
The 81-year-old noted that young men who have shown interest in farming have returned to the town following rampant attacks on farmers by the herdsmen.
“Most farmers are now scared of going to their farms as they seem to present easy targets for the armed herdsmen. With the rainy season approaching, there is general apprehension that food crisis may become inevitable in the state,” he said.
He joined the appeal to the state government to deploy security operatives and Amotekun Corps to the area, saying, “We have been living in fear. The presence of security men in this area will go a long way to reduce these senseless attacks.”
“We are calling on government and security agencies because we don’t want to take the law into our hands.”
The State Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Funmi Odunlami, said the attack was reported at the station and added that the men of the state command have commenced investigation into the attack.
She assured that the perpetrators of the attack will be fished out to face the law.
“The incident was reported at the station and our men visited the place and swung into action immediately. Investigation had commenced and I can assure you that those behind the attack will be arrested,” Odunlami sai