Despite the efforts by the security agencies to end the gruesome murders carried out armed cattle herders in the country, they continued with their killing spree when they allegedly killed a middle-aged woman, Mrs. Patience Salami, in Arodoye community in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State, recently.
One person was also reportedly killed in Mbayer Yandev Council Ward of Guma Local Government Area in Benue State, while several people were sacked from Anyii in Logo Local Government Area in the state on Wednesday night.
This is just as the alarm was raised by the Tiv community in Nasarawa State over skirmishes between residents of Awe and Keane Local Government Area in the state, which both border Benue State, and migrating herdsmen from Benue.
Although it was not verified by the Nasarawa Police Command or the state government, four deaths were reportedly recorded in clashes said to have occurred when residents in the two local government areas resisted attempts by the herdsmen migrating from Benue to force them off their lands.
In the Ondo incident, it was gathered that the attackers who hacked the woman, Mrs. Salami, to death on her farm did not stop at that but went on to dismember her body.
One of the owners of the destroyed farmlands was a serving judge of the Ondo State Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Michael Owoyemi, who owns about seven acres of arable crops.
The Ondo farmers lamented that they had lost millions of naira due to the destruction of their crops, including cocoa, cassava, cocoyam, yam and vegetables, which were set ablaze by the killer herdsmen.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Justice Omoyemi said the herdsmen usually come during the yuletide season.
“The herdsmen returned last December destroying over 5,000 heaps of cassava in my farm. They took advantage of the break and brought their cattle and uprooted the cassava to feed their cows.
“We have reported the herdsmen to the security agencies in the past and also to the traditional ruler, the Deji of Akureland, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, who promised to wade into the matter.
“The herdsmen are determined to send the farmers out of their land in the South-west unless steps are taken by the concerned authorities, otherwise, it will degenerate to ethnic clashes in the South-west.
“What they have destroyed in the twinkle of an eye is worth millions of naira,” he said.
Owoyemi disclosed that the farmers had petitioned the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, the security agencies and the Ministry of Agriculture to intimate them on the havoc wrecked on farmlands in the area.
Also speaking, one of the farmers, Victory Oweh, said he lost over ten acres to the herdsmen and their cows, saying the herdsmen also set his farm on fire after destroying the crops.
“We are just respecting the laws of the land and trying not to take the law into our hands. We have been reporting them to the security agencies with no positive results,” he said.
He disclosed that he voluntarily resigned from the public sector some two years ago to take up farming, but the incessant invasion on his farm had discouraged him from farming.
“I cannot imagine working all through the year and some herdsmen and their cattle will invade our farms to destroy all my labour in just one day.
“The Ondo State Government should follow the steps taken by the Ekiti State Government by enacting laws to curb the activities of the herdsmen in the state.
“We are calling on the state government and security agents in the state before taking the law into our hands,” he admonished.