Residents of Yewa and Imeko-Afon Local Government Areas who have been troubled in recent weeks by herdsmen’s attacks are now fleeing into Benin Republic towns as refugees.
SaharaReporters learnt that some of the residents have moved to Pobe, a Benin Republic town, and are looking for houses to settle in until the unrest in their towns is over.
It was gathered that despite assurances by the Ogun State Government, the security agencies such as the police and the army personnel in Yewa, Ipokia and Imeko Afon were believed to be compromised, and residents lamented that their lives were not safe.
“The people of Yewaland are trooping into Pobe, Benin Republic. They can no longer trust our security operatives. They have to flee for their lives to that town to breathe fresh air. They have started fleeing since last week – women, children, men with sacks of clothes and no means of livelihood.
“The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has been sleeping. If he has not, he should have known that Yewaland is being deserted. We are being frustrated by the herdsmen’s attacks,” a resident, Mr Wasiu said.
Like Oyo and Ondo states, Ogun State has been at the receiving end of violent herdsmen’s attacks in recent weeks, leading to crisis in the communities and ethnic clashes between the indigenes and the herders.
On February 13, herdsmen invaded Igbooro, Oja-Odan in the Yewa-North Local Government Area, killing three persons, including a mother and her child.
The herdsmen also injured two villagers, when they attacked the community which is close to Eggua in Oja-Odan around 11 pm on Friday.
Eyewitnesses said the herdsmen shot indiscriminately, set ablaze three houses and storehouses in the village.
“A mother and her child were among the three persons killed in their huts while two persons were said to be in critical conditions after they were shot by the herdsmen,” a witness had said.
Also, five persons were killed in Owode Ketu, a day earlier.
Confirming the incident, Baale of Igbooro, Abidemi Akorede, had said he had counted three corpses.
On February 8, gun-wielding herdsmen also attacked Oha village in Imeko in the Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State, killing a farmer, Dele Olowoniyi.
This is despite assurances from the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, that security operatives had been deployed to the troubled Yewa border communities, including Imeko, after two weeks of unrest allegedly caused by herdsmen.
Abiodun had promised that the deployment would ensure there was no violence again.
Olowoniyi had been slaughtered while asleep in his farm settlement at Oha village, Imeko, during the attack.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, had confirmed the incident, adding that there was no evidence that the man was killed by Fulani herdsmen.
The Ogun PPRO had later in another release stated that the police would not condone further assaults on herdsmen.
“The command also calls on both farmers and herdsmen, indeed the entire Yoruba and Fulani communities in Yewa and across the state, to fish out criminals, especially herdsmen visiting from other states and neighbouring countries,” the police spokesman had said.