Yoruba Communities alleged Fulani rape, killings
By Abiola Oyewumi
Indigenous peoples of Irele and Ijowa Ekiti in Ekiti North local government area of Ekiti State have called on the Federal and State Governments to safe them from what they described as “rape, assult and killings” perpetrated by armed Fulani gangs.
Speaking in the town visited by our correspondent, residents took our reporter to some of their farms devastated by cows belonging to the invaders.
Chief Kehinde Abejide, the Akogun(Warlord) of Irele Ekiti told Irohinoodua that the Fulani herdsmen are heavily armed and have prevented local people from going to their farms
He said soldiers allocated to the area are not enough since the Fulani herdsmen appear to enjoy some privileged protection by influential people outside Ekiti State.
He said “We are under siege. The Fulani armed groups have taken over our forests. Our farmers cannot to go farms. Our youths are chased from their ancestral homes. Our mothers and daughters are raped. We are a forest dependent people. Forest and our sacred groves are our mothers. Today, we are being told our ancestral land no longer belong to us.” Chief Abejide said
He argued that on several occassions he has accosted the hersdmen who collaborate with the armed gangs. “Each time we report to the police, when they arrest those without guns they release them. They don’t even detain them. They claim they receive orders from above,” he said
He told Irohinoodua that his people are not lazy and neither are they cowards.
“We are children of warriors. We are not cowards. Our forefathers were part of the Yoruba soldiers that fought against Fulani and they defeated them. Our forefathers fought in Kiriji war and infact our community produced a General Palaake in the 1800s. We are only trying to defend our civilisation so that we do not take the laws into our hands. Our patient is running out” he said.
A elderly widow narrated how her farmlands were destroyed saying that many widows, young men and women have been made to abandon their farms already taken over by the Fulani armed groups
A public official from the area, Kayode Ade said soldiers were already parading the area and that efforts were being made to address the situation
‘The report is true. We are the last community in Ekiti before Kogi State. There is the need for joint collaboration between Ekiti and Kogi governments with the assistance of the Federal Government for peace to return to the land” he said.
He said the resolution of the crisis is tied to the absolute control of the police and security operatives by the Federal Government.
Deji Omotoyinbo, a counsellor in Ikole local Government told Irohinoodua that “There won’t be a permanent solution unless the states have full control over internal security matters. The Governor is doing is best but as long as the Commissioner and Divisional Police Officers are appointed from Abuja, we can only think of temporary measures that wont be permanent.”
He said eventhough Amotekun has been established “they are not allowed to carry AK 47 which the Fulani herdsmen carry”
Some 12 years ago, the armed herdsmen had chopped off the hand of a police officer in the Community.
The police responded by removing the only police post in the community. Till date, the communities have no police post.