Crisis looms in Ogbomoso over alleged destruction of farmlands by herdsmen

An impending disaster may be brewing in Ogbomoso Oyo State, over alleged invasion and destruction of indigenous farmlands by suspected armed herders for over the months.

An impending disaster may be brewing in Ogbomoso Oyo State, over alleged invasion and destruction of indigenous farmlands by suspected armed herders for over the months.

As at yesterday, commercial and other related activities were temporarily put on hold as residents, including the farmers, stormed the Palace of the Soun of Ognomosoland in protest against the invasion by suspected Fulani herders on their farmlands in Oriire Local Council.

The invasion had allegedly resulted in the death of innocent farmers, while crops worth millions of naira were said to have been destroyed by the herds of cattle.

It would be recalled that a cleric in one of the Pentecostal churches, identified as Evangelist Segun Adegboyega, was killed while working on his farmland at Gege Village along Ogbomoso-Iseyin Road last month.

Disturbed by the trend, the residents in their hundreds took the peaceful protest to the palace of Soun of Ogbomoso Land, Oba Ghandi Olaoye at Oja-gbo area.

They sought the swift intervention of the monarch at putting an end to the killings, maiming and destruction of the crops on their farmlands by the suspected herders..

They added that they have been deprived access to their farmland.
The protesters said, “We are tired of the atrocities of these Bororo herdsmen. They destroy our farms, kill our people, machete us, slash off our hands and act as if we are their slaves.

“They even rape women in the farm. Now, we can’t go to our farms again and we are hungry.”

The spokesperson for the group, Chief Aremu Ogundare, disclosed that they came from three villages in Oriire Local Council -Kedo Arigbeyo, Kedo Salami and Mosunmaje.

They lamented that  they had to come to Soun to seek his assistance because the herders have persisted in their destructive activities.

“Cows have become a menace to us, the problem escalated about four or five years ago. We don’t enjoy farming any longer,the cassava we cultivated were destroyed.”

“Then, our cashew farms we thought of falling back on, they would take their cow there in the night to eat them off. To feed our families now is hard, we can’t train our children in school, those in higher institutions have returned because we couldn’t raise funds to sponsor them any longer, feeding also is a problem. That’s the reason we came here with a save-our-soul message.

“We discussed it several times, we were at the police station. We reported to the local council chairman, none yielded any solution. They persisted.

“They machete us, threaten oftentimes if anyone resists them they would kill them. Women can’t go to farm any longer even we men, we venture out in fear, out of compunction because we must feed our families.”

He added that the herders forcefully took over lands, “nobody gave them land, they will come and erect settlements on any land of their choice and begin to perpetrate their nefarious activities. We are fed up, we are helpless, that’s the reason we have come to seek the assistance of our royal father.”

Recall that after the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Olaoye had after the killings of the cleric, last month appealed to the people to remain calm over the incident, assuring them that those responsible for the killing would not go unpunished.

Oba Olaoye promised to work with security agents to get justice for the family of the deceased.

The monarch said, “As your father, I wish to say, this is an ugly situation and it is uncalled for. I have spoken my mind to the Area Commander of Owode Police headquarters, who is here with me and I want to assure you that justice would be served.

“I equally sympathise with every one of you, may God continue to watch over you and the entire land of Ogbomoso.”

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