Adebiyi Ashimedua, Within Nigeria
Eggua community in the Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, was reportedly attacked by Fulani herdsmen on Tuesday, destroying crops worth N500m and raping women.
One of the victims, identified as Popoola Olugbenga, whose vegetables farm was also destroyed, told newsmen on Wednesday.
“They came in their numbers at night; they did not only destroy the crops on the farms, they also went to the barns to destroy and burn them,” Olugbenga lamented.
“They went as far as burning down the houses of our people in the village. They burnt the barns where crops were kept. When our women were going to the river during the day, they attacked again and raped both the married women and their daughters.
“When we noticed the atrocities that were carried out, we assembled a team to meet with them. Then, we now saw the presence of the army. We have had a series of peaceful meetings with them in the past, but they don’t follow the guidelines given by the security agents.”
Explaining the role of the army in the village, he said, “We have told them to leave. The army personnel have to leave our community because they are here to intimidate us. They were sitting with the Fulani people. They did not come through the proper channel. Their presence is not known to the police. We told them that in the past, we always have a joint task force that defends the community. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), the police and our traditional ruler should be aware.
“We discovered it was the herders that brought them (army). They mounted a roadblock at Kajola market in Kara-Shangisha, Eggua. Our traditional ruler, Oba Michael Adeleye, was not informed that they were coming.”
Confirming the situation in the community, Ogun State Secretary, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Biodun Ogunjimi, said the rural communities in the state, including Eggua have been experiencing brutal assaults by killer herdsmen, without any solution in sight.
“Fulani herders kill farmers at will in the interior places. They maim them and rape their women and daughters constantly. This has to stop. We can’t continue like this. Insecurity is not only in the North, we are facing hell as farmers in Ogun rural communities,” Ogunjimi said.
A meeting was held on Wednesday and the resolution was that the military men should evacuate the community, and then the next line of action would be taken.
“We are law-abiding citizens in Eggua, but we know our rights. We want the military to first leave our village. Then the Fulani people will be called for a meeting. If they don’t agree to abide by our rules and terms, they can’t live peacefully with us, they have to leave our community too,” Olugbenga added.