Army conniving with herdsmen on attacks – Ogun monarchs
Daud Olatunji, Abeokuta
Some soldiers in the Nigerian Army are supporting armed herdsmen operating in Yelwa area of Ogun State, traditional rulers in the area said at the weekend.
A petition written by the traditional rulers and made available to Irohinoodua indicated complaints that the Army is giving support to the armed herdsmen. The communities are located in Ketu area of Ogun State. The Obas sent the petition to the Brigade Commander, 35 Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army, Alamala, Abeokuta,
The Obas in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State wrote a petition to the Nigerian Army alleging connivance of the Army to intimidate and harass indigenous peoples in the area.
Those who signed the petition were the Oba Akintunde Akinyemi Oniggua of Iggualand, Oba Michael Dosumu, the Eselu of Iseluland and the Alademeso of Igan Alade, Oba Gabriel Olalowo. In the petition signed by the Obas, they claimed that during the visit of soldiers visiting the community, the leaders were asked to asked questions but that a community leader, Mr Seye Mulero who summarized the trauma of the community by calling the soldiers to checkmate soldiers in the communities. Mulero also mentioned cases of killings in the community by herdsmen. The Obas said immediately Mulero mentioned the herdsmen, the soldiers pounced on him.
“Seye Mulero further cited past killings, maiming and destruction of farms to buttress his point. Sadly, at this point, the soldiers seized him and mercilessly beat him up.
“In the same manner, the Fulani herders in company of the suspected soldiers left Ibeku for Asa, the adjoining village to address the Baale of Asa and his subjects as they had earlier done at Ibeku, the people refused to respond, having heard what transpired at Ibeku.
“However, one of the Fulani herders sighted some people in the audience and picked on them as those that purportedly shouted on them at Ibeku while brutalising their victim (Seye Mulero). The herders asked the soldiers to also deal with them.”
The Obas alleged that at a meeting with the State Police Commissioner, Edward Ajogun,held on January 03, 2021, the herdsmen confirmed that they invited the soldiers who were said to have provided security for them while the herders grazed their cattle on farms of the indigenous peoples destroying valuable cash crops. Another report accused the villagers of killing some four Fulani herdsmen after which their bodies disappeared. Another source that does not wish to be named told Irohinoodua that it was wrong to say the Nigerian Army was supporting the herdsmen adding that the action of few soldiers should not be confused with an institution like the Nigerian Army.