Young herdsmen raping old mothers at gunpoint in Oyo, farmers lament
By Samuel Ogunsona
Old married women, some of them in their 70s are being raped by herdsboys young enough to be the grandchildren of their victims, farmers in Oyo are crying out.
In a chat with Irohinoodua on Tuesday, Mr Sunday Akinnoye, leader of one of the farmers cooperative society said complaints of rape of elderly women by armed young Fulani boys have become a daily occurence.
He said “Every day when old women go to their farms, they come back with chilling stories of rape by young armed herdsboys. It’s a shame that Yoruba taboo is being broken and we find out that the old women are helpless.”
He said the ages of the women victims reported to him range from 50 to 85 years. “They meet them on their farms, threaten them with guns, overpower them and rape them. This is cruel and anti Yoruba civilisation, ” Akinnuoye told our correspondent.
A resident who lives in Iseyin, Kadijat Odunola also confirmed that Fulani herds boys are raping old women in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State.
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Oyo have also corroborated stories of rape of old women by the herds boys. Adewumi Abass, the Secretary of AFAN said the group is worried adding that a meeting would be called by all farmers in Oyo State to address the issue
Odunola in an interview with Vanguard warned of the consequences of herds boys raping old women in Oyo State.
But Akinnoye said reports of rape of old women have been received from Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Edo, Kogi, Kwara and Ondo States. He said the victims find it difficult to speak out and so ashamed and humiliated to approach law enforcement agents. “You can imagine a 15 year old boy raping a 75 year old women just because she has AK-47. The people are tired, furious but helpless in the face of this cultural genocide’ Akinnuoye told Irohinoodua.
Odunayo said, “Our people have spoken but I want to talk about rape of older women by young suspected Fulani herders. This is abominable and it should not happen again. Some of them would meet female farmers in the bush and rape them.
According to Odunayo “Some of these women are old and have stopped mensuration a long time ago and even their husbands don’t touch them again. But they would meet them in the bush and molest them sexually.
“Fulani girls and women are beautiful but despite that, no Yoruba boy or man has even met them in the bush and raped them. It has never happened around this axis.
“So, let us tell them that their children (young herders) must not molest our mothers and other females again. Anybody caught doing this should be heavily punished according to the law and I believe that will serve as a deterrent to others.”
AFAN official Adewumi said “There must be a peaceful relationship between herders and farmers. Farm destruction must stop because pastoralists who rear livestock are doing so for money and farmers who grow crops also do so for money. Therefore, we must not allow one to disturb the other.
He told Vanguard that “destruction of crops and farmland will aggravate food scarcity and this will affect everybody. Herders must not destroy crops and farmers should also not kill herders’ animals. We have been living together peacefully before and this should continue.”
Alhaji Yakubu Bello who represents Fulani in Iseyin Local Government Area, linkes the crisis to “language barrier and ethnicity.”
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