Fulani herdsmen have allegedly molested and hacked to death a middle- aged woman, identified as Mrs Ayesi Balogun, at Asa in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State. The incident occurred on Saturday when the mother of three was about entering her farm. An indigenous group, Ketu Advancement Front (KAF), has raised the alarm over the resurgence of killing by suspected herdsmen in the area.
The group, in a statement signed by its Coordinator- General, Kunle Abiose, and Secretary, Joseph Bankole, disclosed that Balogun’s death brought to 25 the number of “innocent and poor people” who had been sent to their early graves by marauders in the local government. It also decried the failure of the state government to address the deteriorating security situation in the area.
The group said: “For the umpteenth time, we members of Ketu Advancement Front (KAF) want to register our strongest protest with the government of Senator Ibikunle Amosun over her callous abdication of her constitutional responsibility of ensuring the security of lives of Ketu people from wanton killing by marauding herdsmen.
“We are sad to announce that Mrs Ayesi Balogun, a poor mother of three, was molested and hacked to death on her farm in Asa, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State over the weekend by Fulani herdsmen. On sighting her entering the farm, the killer-herdsmen, who had taken over her farm, pounced on her; probably gang molested her before hacking her to death. “Mrs Balogun’s case brought to over 25, the number of our innocent and poor people who had been sent to their early graves in seriously agonising and dehumanising circumstances not to talk of several others who had been maimed.”
The group said the matter had been reported at the Oja Odan Police Station, urging the state government to take action on it. When contacted yesterday, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the incident. Adejobi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, however, said the killing might have been a reprisal because an “unidentified corpse” of Fulani was discovered in the area a day earlier. He said that the police had already summoned the leadership of the two warring communities in the area to a peace meeting today in Abeokuta. But KAF accused the state government of not doing enough to protect the lives and property of the people of the area.
It said: “Our displeasure is premised on the fact that despite our protest, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with government and the herdsmen in 2014, the government which has the overall duty of security and peace of our people has turned deaf ears and blind eyes to our people’s plight.
“Not even our strong and repeated demands for the implementation of the MoU as an instrument of peace endorsed by all parties had moved government a bit to perform its constitutional duty. “It may interest the whole world to know that the herdsmen’s practice is to invade our land at the dawn of every dry season destroying farmlands, other property and killing the hapless peasants.
“Notwithstanding the fact that our people had been forced to abandon their homes and farmsteads since October 2014 to avert breakdown of peace while waiting on government to act, the herdsmen had continued their onslaught on our people.
“What the government’s inaction has foisted on us are souls of innocent people crying for vengeance in their graves, destiny of children orphaned by Fulani herdsmen’s incessant killings and future of hordes of internally displaced people calling for change.
“While we will not take the law into our hands, what we want to assure the government of the day is that the day of reckoning has come and our people will definitely take the desired action against a government that places no value on their lives.”