Herdsmen killed 55 persons in Yewa – Ogun indigenes tackle Sarkin Fulani
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
Indigenes of Yewa axis of Ogun State have claimed that suspected Fulani herdsmen killed 55 persons in Ketu within the last 21 years.
The indigenes, under the aegis of Ketu Advancement Front (KAF) made this assertion in a rejoinder signed by Michael Abiose, the Coordinator-General and made available to Press.
The rejoinder, which included names and gory pictures of those allegedly killed by herdsmen, was sent to Press on Sunday.
The group was reacting to statements credited to the Sarkin Fulani of Eggua, Ibrahim Adamu, in an exclusive interview with Press.
Adamu had told Press that over 100 Fulani herdsmen, as well as countless cows were killed in Yewa by indigenes in the last five years, adding that this was the beginning of the recent attacks on the communities in Yewa North axis of the State.
Adamu also justified why soldiers escorted herdsmen to Ogun Communities, saying it was mainly to settle crisis.
Reacting, KAF said “without any fear of contradiction, everything Adamu said was blatant lies told in a desperate attempt to stand the truth in the head.”
However, the group said, “but in the end, we are glad for two things – First, the Sarkin Fulani has confirmed that it was Fulanis that carried out wanton killings and destruction in the area for over twenty years, including the coordinated assault between Thursday 11th and Wednesday 17th February 2021.
“The second is that he finally confirmed that he and his co-herders brought soldiers to Asa, Ibeku and Agbon-Ojodu on 19th December, 2020 to assault Ketu people with reckless abandon. Even the Nigerian Army has not dissociated itself from Adamu’s claim.”
On their part, the Ketu indigenes claimed that “the killings of Ketu people and destruction of their farms by Adamu and his people started over 25 years ago.”
According to them, “the herders have always provokingly invaded our people’s land, destroyed their farms, polluted their water, killed farmers, maimed and raped women as well as committed other atrocities against innocent Ketu People.”
KAF stated that it was in an attempt to find a peaceful way of taming the “violent herders” that the Onigua of Eggua, Oba Adeleye Dosunmu, wrote and got the State Government’s permission around Year 2000 to install Adamu as Sarkin Fulani of Eggua in order to help rein in his people.
“As their atrocious acts would not stop, some Royal Fathers, Baales and Community Leaders in the area instituted a case against Adamu and his people at a State High Court sitting in Ilaro, before Honourable Justice M. A. Dipeolu in 2007.
“The court established the link between Adamu and the nomadic herders and held that the activities of the herders in the area were illegal and should be stopped forthwith. in spite of that, Adamu and others persisted in their criminal acts even in contempt of the court ruling,” they revealed.
The group revealed that in 2013, the State Government midwifed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ketu people, the Fulanis and All Farmers Association, Ogun State Chapter.
“The MoU provided for banning of open grazing, registration of herders and their cows by the State Government and relevant security agencies before entering our area, grazing only in approved areas and a joint enforcement committee comprising all necessary security agencies.
“But, it may interest you to note that the recalcitrant herders brazenly breached all the terms of the MoU and reversed the gains of the process. All these and other gestures of Ketu people at promoting peace with the Fulani herders have been rebuffed and abused. This cannot be otherwise as Adamu himself said in his Press interview that “… some of the herdsmen no longer listen to us. They take laws into their hands,” the group alleged.
The group said further: “Adamu lied when he said over 100 herders were killed by Ketu people in the last five years. He tried to cover up his lie when he said he recently lost records of the dead. And we dare to ask Adamu if human beings were so inconsequential to have lost record of the dead? Who were they? Where were they killed? Where are their pictures etc.? On the contrary, we say without equivocation that it is the aggressor Fulanis who are killing Ketu people for opposing destructive grazing on their farms. Adamu too confirmed this when he said they (Fulanis) “brought Army so that anywhere there is crisis, they would settle it”.
“To prove our claim, we attached herewith documented pictures and list of 55 people killed by herders in the last twenty-one years for your information and records. Even three herders who were apprehended in the past were covered up by the Police.
“A case in point was that of Mohammed Bello (40), Muhammed Momoh (30) and Yisau Umoru (18) who were apprehended with AK47 and several ammunition in 2017 and personally paraded by the then Ogun Police Commissioner, CP Ahmed Illyasu. They were never prosecuted till date despite our ceaseless agitation.
“We like to conclude by stating that we have submitted detailed memorandum on the evil acts of the herders to the Peace Committee on Farmers-Herders Conflict in Yewaland set up by the Ogun State Government with our recommendations in the hope that we will get justice and renewed security for our local population from the genocidal activities of herders that have lasted for over 20 years.”
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