Members of the Ijare Community in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State on Wednesday arrested no fewer than 150 cows for destroying crops on farmlands in the community.
This came a few months after lightening struck dead 36 cows that belonged to the Fulani herdsmen while grazing on a ‘sacred land’ in the community.
It was gathered that the cows which reportedly belonged some Fulani herdsmen in the community, were allegedly led into the farmlands by some herdsmen to graze and allegedly destroyed crops
A source in the community said when the farmers saw the havoc the cows had wreaked on their farms they pursued them and arrested the cows while the herdsmen fled.
The source said, “After the herdsmen had seen that the farmers and some local hunters were coming they abandoned their cows and ran while the cows were brought to the palace.”
“They have been adamant and it was high time they left. We didn’t harm them but we were surprised the way they ran away like being chased by a lion.”
One of the affected farmers, Mr Sunday Fasakin, who lamented that all his last year’s efforts were in vain recounted how his cocoyam and yam farms of three hectares worth thousands of naira were destroyed by the herdsmen.
“They have been destroying our farms and we can no longer condone such losses again. We don’t have problem with them but we don’t want them and their cows in Ijare anymore.”
Fasakin also called on the government to address the ugly development to avoid reprisal from the people of the community.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Femi Joseph, however, said one of the herders had been arrested while investigation had commenced into the matter.
“We got the report that five herdsmen had invaded and destroyed the farms, we swung into action and one Banbuga Abu was arrested while we are still searching for the fleeing herdsmen. We have commenced the investigation.”
In the same vein, a traditional ruler of Ipinsa community in Akure South Local Government Area of the state, Oba Omoniyi Olufunmilayo, has raised alarm over invasion of farmlands and destruction of crops by suspected herdsmen in his community.
The monarch lamented that many farmers at Ipinsa had currently been counting their losses over the havoc committed by the herdsmen in the community.
He called on the state government and the security agencies to intervene in the matter to avoid a clash between the farmers of the community and the herdsmen.