Peter Dada, Akure
More facts have emerged over the decision of herdsmen to abandon their cows and run for their lives in Ondo State.
The Ijare community in the Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Wednesday, seized about 150 cows for destroying crops on farmlands in the area.
This came few months after lightning struck dead 36 cows belonging to Fulani herdsmen while grazing on a sacred land in the community.
It was gathered that the seized cows were led to the farmlands by some Fulani herdsmen to graze and destroyed crops planted on the farmlands.
A source in the community said when the farmers saw the havoc wreaked by the cows on their farms, they pursued them and seized the cows, while the herdsmen fled.
The source said, “When the herdsmen saw that the farmers and some local hunters were coming after them, they abandoned their cows and ran away and the cows were brought to the palace of the town’s monarch.
“The herdsmen have been adamant and it was high time they left. We didn’t harm them, but we were surprised that they ran away as if they were being chased by lions.”
One of the affected farmers, Mr Sunday Fasakin, who lamented that his efforts last year had come to naught, recounted how his three-hectare cocoyam and yam plantations were destroyed by the herdsmen and their cattle.
“They have been destroying our farms and we can no longer condone the losses. We don’t have problems with the herdsmen, but we don’t want them and their cows in Ijare anymore,” he stated.
Fasakin also called on the government to address the problem to avoid reprisal by the residents of the community.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Femi Joseph, said one of the herders had been arrested, while investigation had commenced into the matter.
“We got a report that five herdsmen invaded and destroyed farms in Ijare and we swung into action and one Banbuga Abu was arrested, while we are still searching for the other fleeing herdsmen. We have commenced investigation into the incident,” Joseph stated.
Similarly, the traditional ruler of Ipinsa in the Akure South Local Government Area of the state, Oba Omoniyi Olufunmilayo, has raised the alarm over the invasion of farmlands and destruction of crops in his community by suspected herdsmen.
The monarch lamented that many farmers were counting their losses over the destruction of their farmlands allegedly by the herdsmen.
He called on the state government and security agents to intervene in the matter to avoid a clash between the farmers and the herdsmen.