Insecurity: Ondo Traditional rulers raise alarm over influx of herdsmen

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Traditional rulers in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State have raised the alarm over the influx of suspected herdsmen into communities in the area.

The traditional rulers, in a communique issued at the end of the stakeholders’ meeting on Sunday in Ute, said the activities of the herdsmen had been hindering preparation for the planting season in the area.

The traditional rulers are; Olute of Ute, Oba Oluwole Akinrongbe; Olumoru of Imoru, Oba Rotimi Obamuwagun; Arujale Ojima of Okeluse, Oba Oloyede Akinghare and Odibiado of Ijagba, Oba Andrew Okioya.

The traditional rulers, who sent a Save our Soul (SOS) to Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, said the situation had led to the spike in attacks on farmers, kidnapping, rape and destruction of farmlands in the area.

They noted that the development had the attendant implications on food security not only in agrarian communities in the council, also the entire state.

They said that farmers who were supposed to mobilise for the new farming season had been driven from farms by armed miscreants who had been mobilising themselves to the area on a daily basis.

The royal fathers, therefore, called on the state government, security agencies to take urgent steps to stem the dangerous tide.

They noted that rate of unprovoked attacks on towns, villages and settlements in the area was becoming “vey scary and highly embarrassing.”

The traditional rulers, who commended the state governor, the Police, Amotekun Corps and other security agencies for tackling insecurity in the state, called for urgent steps to restore peace to the affected communities.

“We passionately appeal that more definite and significant efforts be put in place to ensure more holistic approach to this unending security problems.

“The emerging insecurity in the area, if not tackled with increased efforts, can result in famine in the state. We advise residents of the communities to be extra vigilant and report suspected movement and cases to the security agencies.

“The rate, level and degree of unprovoked attacks on towns, villages and settlements in the southern part of Ose Local Government Area are very scary and highly embarrassing,” they said.

According to them, the incessant attacks usually leave in its wake massive destruction of lives, property, rape of married women, teenagers, underage, kidnaping and murder in all the camps, villages, settlements and suburbs like Arimogija.

The traditional rulers said: “These perpetrators destroyed hectares of plantations of plantains, cassava, yams etc at will, harvest such crops and feed their animals with them.

“They perpetrate such atrocities, on the alleged belief that their cows usually give birth to two or three of their kinds at once when they are fed with this crops.

“At regular intervals, they wilfully set fires on cocoa and other farmlands thereby causing poverty, hardship, hunger, sorrow and extreme pains to our people.

“Our entire landscape is agrarian, therefore, our people are basically small and medium scale farmers hence, their livelihood depends on these efforts, now totally annihilated.

“Now, our people live in constant fears and can no longer access their farmlands and places of business because the bandits, terrorists and armed herders have forcefully occupied and taken over our farmlands and forests.”

The royal fathers, however, called for the deployment of more security personnel to the area due to its strategic position and establishment of Forward Operational Base in the area.

The traditional rulers demanded for “creation of standard police divisions, provisions of effective patrol units and proper clearing of the road verges in the area to ensure clear visibility.

“Deployment of a unit of Mobile Police men with armed Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), deployment of technology to assist in the surveillance of ground forces and urgent provision of relief materials and economic empowerment for the displaced persons to prevent them from going into crimes.”