Hoodlums suspected to be herdsmen on Saturday night launched an attack on farmers at Ijugbere Village in the Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State, killing three farmers during the attack.
The herdsmen reportedly invaded the farm around 7 pm on Saturday and descended on the farmers in the farm, killing three of the farmers while others ran away from the farm.
The attack, which came barely 24 hours after the men of Amotekun, flushed the armed herdsmen out of the forest in the axis.
A source disclosed that the herdsmen had earlier visited the farms and the villages around the forest warning them against visiting their farms.
According to the source, the development has created tension across the area with some residents leaving the area before the three farmers were killed.
He said the herdsmen had taken over the area despite the vacation order by the state government, saying the farmers and residents are leaving the area enmass.
Confirming the development, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Agriculture, Akin Olotu confirmed the killing, saying the three men were gruesomely murdered by the herdsmen.
He described the killing of the farmers as unfortunate, saying, “those blaming governor Akeredolu for saying the illegal occupants should vacate the forest should rethink. These hoodlums have been tormenting farmers on the farm and famine is imminent if nothing drastic is done.”
He said the farmers had reported the incident to the traditional ruler of Owo.
The spokesperson of the State Police Command, Tee-Leo Ikoro, could not confirm the incident and promised to find out from the area.
Meanwhile, the Commander of the Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, has said that genuine herders that will key into the order of the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu will be allowed to stay in the state’s forest reserves.
Adeleye emphasised that a good number of the herdsmen in the forest reserves had commenced the registration processes while a substantial number of the herdsmen had left the forest reserve for neighbouring states.
According to Adeleye, “the position of government is definitely. Anybody in the forestry reserve that is not registered, is not supposed to be there now.
“It is difficult to give the exact number of herders who have left the forest reserve but I know from our intel that not less than 15 different groups came to us to seek permission to usher them out of the state, which we have and we allowed them unhindered. As in those that opted to go on their own.
“Again, the government is not saying there should be no herders, what the government says is, herders that are faceless and masquerading, herders that are armed robbers, kidnappers and committing different types of crimes in the forestry reserve should leave.
“So, our doors are open for genuine ones that will fulfill the righteousness of registration for them to stay. As at now, a good number of them have commenced the processes registration
“It’s only in recent times that herders turned violent. I don’t want you to look at their settlement as a threat to us. Within the first few days of the expiration of the deadline the government gave them, I went with the Miyetti Allah chairman, the SSA Security, the SA Hausa/Fulani, and we went round extensively sensitising the herdsmen to either comply or leave.”
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