The traditional ruler of Ijoun, Chief Olaleye Emmanuel, has said the atrocities of the killer Fulani herders have reduced in the Ijoun community of Ogun State since a group of local farmers and hunters known as Agbekoya began to watch over the village.
Ijoun is one of the communities persistently ravaged by the criminal Fulani herders terrorising farmers and the entire community of Yewa North Local Government Area in the state.
Emmanuel said this while speaking with SaharaReporters on Tuesday about the current situation of things in the area.
The traditional ruler said the last attack by the murderous herdsmen was about three weeks ago when they burnt 10 motorcycles belonging to Yoruba farmers working on their farms in the village.
He said the attack prompted the Agbekoya to vow to watch over the village and that has been the situation since then.
“Their atrocities have gone down. We are having some peace gradually. Their last attack was about three weeks ago or so. A farmer went to his farm, accompanied by some of his friends because we have been working and walking in groups since their atrocities started.
“So these boys went to the farm with their friends for them to protect him while he planted maize. And, the Fulani went there and burnt all their 10 bikes while the farmers were working. The guys just had to run for their dear life. It happened three weeks ago.
“But, our Agbekoya chiefs vowed to see to the end of it that day. They drove them away so since that time, we’ve not had any issue. Our chiefs are the ones guarding the village that are prone to attacks.”
Speaking about some residents of the local government area who fled to the Republic of Benin, he identified those who escaped to the neighbouring country as those close to the border.
According to him, it is easy for them to quickly slip into Benin Republic.
“People are fleeing to Benin Republic, but they are those affected places close to the border. The people in my community who suffered from the atrocities committed by Fulani herdsmen are unfortunate not to be living close to the border. Some people actually fled to the Benin Republic, but not in my community.
“There has been an improvement, since the attack at Ijaka-Oke; that was the day they burnt 10 motorcycles. Our local hunters were after them that day. We have not seen them physically since that time. And there has not been any attack in Ijoun since that time, though we hear about their atrocities here and there in other neighbouring villages.”
He also spoke about the efforts of the police to secure the area and the Ogun State Government to share palliatives to the troubled communities.
He said, “The police are only on the roads and expressways, not in the bush. The police don’t enter the bush. Criminal herders attack people in the bush, on their farms. That’s the issue that has not been understood by many. But, our Agbekoya chiefs have been out now since their last attack.
“The palliatives will get to us, we heard that the palliatives are already at the secretariat in Papa, so we will get ours by tomorrow (Wednesday) because the chairman has called me about it, and we might get them tomorrow.”