Ogun Traditional ruler allays subjects fear over invasion of herders, sues for peace - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Ogun Traditional ruler allays subjects fear over invasion of herders, sues for peace

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By Aremu Sosanya

The Olu of Oba Eerin, an agrarian town in Obafemi Owode local government area of Ogun State, Oba Ganiyu Adegun Sanyaolu, has warned his subjects to be cautious in playing host to unknown strangers most especially herders that were looking for place of abode following their forceful ejection from the Ibarapa axis of Oyo state by some youths of the area.

The call according to the royal father became necessary following a video that has gone viral alleging that some herdsmen forcefully sent away by youths of Ibarapa in Oyo State have started erecting their structures in the agrarian town, thereby creating panic in the minds of residents of the area.

Oba Sanyaolu warned his subjects to be cautious also urging them to shun any acts that could cause breakdown of law and order in his domain while also calling on the bad elements in the community to exist the town for peace to reign.

He said the viral video has started creating palpable fear in the minds of residents and visitors of the town.

Findings by Our Correspondent revealed that some herders were seen along the roads leading to Oba town, the Community that hosts the new Abeokuta Correctional facility and the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, some of them have already erected structures and cleared bushes around the major roads leading to the town thereby creating fears in the mind of the people.

Some residents of Oba and Alagada who spoke to Our correspondent said the presence of the herders was noticed some days ago when they saw tractors clearing some farmlands around Alagada village, about 200 meters to new Abeokuta Correctional Service, and within three days about 20 huts typical of Fulani abodes have started springing up.

The residents said the presence of the herdsmen around their community has become a source of concern for them, alleging that within few days they relocated to the area, the herders allow their cattle to destroy their farms while grazing in the area.

The Olu of Oba while speaking to some Journalists in his palace, said some youths have already gone to these herders where they accosted them and shared the video of their encounters to the people, thereby creating tension in the minds of the people.

To avert any crisis that may erupt thereafter, I have called some people that I know facilitated the coming of these herders to a meeting where I detailed them to do the needful.
Baale of Oba, Chief Oludiji Odejimi while speaking with our Correspondent said the manner the herders came to the town calls for proper investigation from the government and law enforcement agencies, positing that their presence there is creating fear in the minds of people.

 “In fact, with the insecurity being posed by these Fulani herders, I don’t know why somebody in his right senses will now invite them to come and settle in a place like this”.

“A higher institution is a few meters to this place. Also, a government correctional facility is about 100 meters to this place. How can somebody allow them to come and settle here, it is very dangerous. If we allow it without taking any action, this invasion is a time bomb.”

The Apena of Oba, Chief Rashid Shobowale while also talking on the issue alleged that “Some have deserted their homes, though we have not had any attack from them, a stitch in time can save nine, sometimes in the evening, you will see their cattle taking over roads leading to the town, travellers had to wait several minutes before they were allowed to pass”.

He alleged that a member of Alagada village, by name, Alhaji Sulaiman Salisu, a.k.a Alagada was responsible for the settlement of these Fulani herders in the area.

”He had not informed the royal father of the town or any community leader in the area before bringing this large numbers of herders into our community, neither had he contacted anybody.

In his own reaction, Alhaji Sulaiman Salisu, a.k.a Alagada, denied ever inviting any herders from Ibarapa to Oba area of Ogun state, but those with him are herders who had already been in the state but residing in Owowo before they came to settle in Oba.

“Your Majesty, based on the controversy that this issue has generated, and in order to allay the fear of our people, I will sell all my cows and send these people away”.

He then pleaded for few days for him to sort some issues out as he had also been invited by the Police and the management of new Abeokuta correctional home on the issue”.