- by E. Nriezedi
- 1:06 PM May 18, 2022
Violence has erupted in eight villages in the Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State, leaving five persons dead while scores of people were injured in a fresh crisis between farmers and herdsmen.
Our correspondent gathered that the herdsmen and some Ohori farmers in the area clashed at Idofa village, leading to the loss of lives and property worth millions of naira.
It was learnt that the people of Aworo community in Yewa North Local Government had chased the herdsmen from their village to Idofa in Imeko, killing three of them and their cows.
It was also gathered that Aworo people had accused the herdsmen of destroying their farms and water sources through open grazing of cows; a practice the state government had banned.
A community leader, who did not want to be mentioned, told The PUNCH that after the Aworo people killed the three herdsmen in Idofa, there was a reprisal attack on Thursday, leading to the death of two Yorubas, and one of whom was burnt beyond recognition.
Houses, four maize barns, motorcycles and other valuables were reportedly set ablaze by the attackers.
As of Friday, our correspondent learnt that many residents of the village had fled their houses for fear of being killed.
A source, who is a resident and eyewitness of the incident who pleaded anonymity, said the incident affected the Kajola village in between Imeko Afon LGA.
He said the violence later spread to Apata, Kajola in the area, as well as Olori Ejo, Kotogiri down to Obolo.
When contacted, the Commander of Amotekun Corps in the state, David Akinremi, confirmed the incident.
He said some people said to be Agbekoyas from Benin Republic allegedly pursued some herders to Apata Kajola whom they claimed caused mischief on their farmland.
He explained, “Three of the herders and some of their cows were killed with two of the deceased burnt.
“The invaders were however engaged in a gun duel by our operatives from Imeko Afon as first responders when they arrived at the scene.
“The perpetrators subsequently retreated to Benin Republic. Our men were later joined by teams from other services to prevent escalation.”
Also, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident on Saturday, assuring the people that those behind the incident would be apprehended.
“We heard about it. It is an unfortunate incident and we are investigating it. We have called on all stakeholders, including the Fulani communities that have been living in that place, who testified that they did not even know the reason for the attack.
“We are investigating to ensure that those who carried out that dastardly act are apprehended in other not to cause further crises.
“The situation is under control as more policemen have been deployed to the place. The Commissioner of Police have directed that the Area Commander should take charge of the security situation in the area.
“No arrest has been made yet, but we are on it and we are sure that those who committed that act will be apprehended,” Oyeyemi said.