The Onimeko of Imeko, Oba Oyeditan Olanite, has raised the alarm over a plot by Fulani herdsmen to attack his domain.
The monarch said this on Friday in an interview with PUNCH NEWS PAPERS.
Oba Olanite said many Fulani herdsmen had already arrived in the town, adding that they took over about 4,000 hectares of land belonging to the Odu’a Investment Company and chased away indigenes of the town close to the land.
The monarch said the people of the town were afraid because they did not know what could happen next.
He, however, said the people of the town had held meetings which a top official of the Department of State Services attended, saying this was done to prevent a surprise attack on the town, a border community between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.
Oba Olanite stated, “The leader of the herdsmen was brought to my palace today (Friday) and he said he came to that place through some people. I have called the Group Managing Director of Odu’a and I told him that herdsmen had taken over their land in Imeko.
“In 2018, Odu’a started work on the land which is about 4,000 hectares. They are planning to build a tomato paste factory on the land but they said they would train local farmers to grow tomatoes so that raw materials would not be in short supply when they start operations.
“But the herdsmen came and drove away all the farmers they met farming near the place. They grazed their cattle on their farms and destroyed their crops. Those ones fled. These herdsmen went further to dismantle the huts built by the farmers and used the materials to build their huts.
“They wanted to attack our people that went to meet them on Thursday but those ones ran away. They attempted to attack them with machetes but our people ran away.”
He further alleged that the herdsmen brought weapons to the land they were occupying illegally, adding that this prompted the meeting held in the community.
“I was told that the herdsmen said their target now is Imeko. They want to attack Imeko because they said the people of the town were the ones who resisted them from taking over this axis. They have a surreptitious plan to attack Imeko,” Oba Olanite said.
The monarch said he had written many letters to the police requesting the establishment of stations and police posts in communities in the Imeko-Afon Local Government Area but nothing had been done.
Recall that some herdsmen attacked Iwoye community in the Imeko-Afon LGA earlier this month and killed four persons.
The Ogun State Police Command said Iwoye was still under a security watch of the police in Nigeria and the Benin Republic.
The Police Public Relations Officer form the state command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, stated this on Friday.
It was learnt that crisis broke out after the cattle of the herdsmen flooded the community stream and polluted the water.
thebiafrastar reporters gathered that the divisional crime officer in charge of Imeko and a police inspector were shot in one of the attacks.
A source told one of our correspondents that a native was killed by the herdsmen for challenging their action.
Further findings showed that the killing sparked crisis the community, which almost resulted in open confrontation between the indigenes and the herders.
The herdsmen were said to have resisted arrest by policemen as they reportedly opened fire on the security agents, killing one of the civilians who came with the policemen.
Oyeyemi added, “Our men are still there. Our special units are still there; Special Anti-Robbery Squad and others are there to ensure total peace. We are not going to withdraw our men from there until there is total peace.
“The commissioner of police has given a definite instruction that herdsmen should be restrained from grazing there until we are able to achieve total peace.”