The incident of some Fulani herdsmen has turned some young farmers into debtors due to the devilish works of some herders in the Southwest region of the country, the President-General of Agbekoya Farmers Association, Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola in an interview with Vanguard Newspaper has said, over 4,000 farmers and innocent citizens have been killed in the South-West.
Chief Kamorudeen said, some factors, events, and incidents informed my remarks, especially the spate of kidnappings and killings of farmers and innocent Yoruba sons and daughters by Fulani criminal herdsmen and bandits from the year 2015 to date, over 4,000 farmers have been killed by the Fulani Herdsmen, without any arrest and prosecution, he opines that marauding herdsmen perpetuating crime in the South-West have godfathers, who purchase arms and ammunition for them.
He also states that his group will wade off every expansionist tendency of the killer herdsmen. He speaks on other burning issues affecting the South-West.
Remember that, Chief Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho was arrested in the Benin Republic while trying to escape to Germany after an allegation from the Federal Government of Nigeria saying Sunday Igboho is taking the law into his hand by confronting and chasing the Fulani out of Igangan in Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State.
Among many other affected farmers is Joseph Adekunle Adegboye, a young Nigerian who is based abroad and invested heavily in the Agricultural business in the country. In a report confirmed by our correspondent, his farm was destroyed by the herdsmen by the invasion of cows in August 2021, before the entire farmland was burned down in October, by what we can call a reprisal attack by the herders, after Sunday Igboho intervention.
According to him “our farmers are being killed and our wives and daughters are being raped by criminal Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers, and bandits”. In a bid to put a stop to the insecurity situation in that area, Sunday Igboho took the bull by the horn said enough is enough and that we, Yoruba, at home and abroad are not ready to condone the criminal activities of the Fulani herdsmen in the Southwest, unfortunately, that action led him to Benin Republic prison, a neighboring country to Nigeria.
Speaking further with Vanguard newspaper, the President-General of Agbekoya Farmers Association, Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola, said, “Kidnapping and killings of people by criminal Fulani herdsmen continue unabated without any positive and responsive steps taken by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to curb the nefarious activities of the armed criminal Fulani herdsmen.
“President Buhari and his aides have not spoken concerning all the criminal activities of the armed Fulani herdsmen and bandits until eviction and quit notices, with an ultimatum, were given to Fulani herdsmen by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and the Yoruba human rights activist, Sunday Igboho in Ibarapa area of Oyo State.
“Another factor that informed my remarks is the influx of Fulani criminal herdsmen and the amount of ammunition and weapons, like AK47, being smuggled by these criminals into the South-West. I am amazed that not much has been done to arrest the godfathers who are financially responsible for the purchase of ammunition and weapons because I am sure that the Fulani criminal herdsmen are not the ones financing the purchase of these weapons.
“Gradually and subtly, the history of Fulani’s expansionist tendencies towards the South-West is being reenacted and Agbekoya and other Yoruba nation stakeholders are aware of these tendencies. These expansionist tendencies will be seriously rebuffed with everything that it takes if these senseless kidnappings and killings are not stopped. In most of the villages and towns in Yoruba land, our farmers have deserted their farms and people cannot move about freely to conduct their business activities because of the fear of being kidnapped and killed.
“Criminal Fulani herdsmen now lay ambush on our people on highways in towns, cities, and footpaths in villages. These are signs of guerrilla warfare.
In another report by Premium Times, The Muslim Rights Concern popularly known as MURIC, has also reported another herder case in Ogun State where five hectares of land belonging to a young member of the organization was destroyed by herders.
According to the statement issued by its director, Ishaq Akintola, they charge both Federal Government and the State Governments to take responsibility.
“It is very clear that Federal Government is yet to appreciate what farmers are going through in the hands of marauding herdsmen. Perhaps we will appreciate the pain of farmers better when we realize that agriculture essentially entails a long and slow process from clearing to planting and harvesting, said Isiaq.
In a post by this young farmer, he said “Herders invaded my five hectares of rice farm three days ago (Sunday, 31st January 2021) and it was totally destroyed. The incident happened at the farm of Sanpro Foods, a rice production company whose premises is located at the Oyan farm settlement, Ibaro Rice Village, Ibaro in Abeokuta North Local Government, Abeokuta, Ogun State. The farm is along Igboora Road after the roundabout.’
“The most heart-rending part of the report was towards the end where it added: ‘The most frustrating part is am not getting my investment back and I hate this feeling of ‘nothing can be done’. I don’t know what to do, perhaps I should organize a press conference.’ He concluded
“The high level of poverty, children out of school, and insincerity of leadership in the Northern part of the country have been responsible for the influx of criminal herdsmen in the South-West. The criminal Fulani herdsmen believe that once they can smuggle themselves to the South-West, they will get a place to stay with their Fulani kinsmen.
“And once they can get a place to stay, they will start mingling with the people of the community under the pretense that they are herdsmen. They now begin to wonder about other herdsmen with cattle studying the community environment and before the community and the traditional rulers could know what is happening, they would have formed a gang of kidnappers and bandits, committing rapes, kidnapping, and killing their victims who cannot afford to pay the ransom they are asking for, he said.