Tension brewed in Ogun State, yesterday, where hoodlums suspected to be herdsmen allegedly launched an attack on Orile-Igbooro in Yewa North local government area, killing no fewer than four persons.
It was gathered that houses were set ablaze while several people sustained varying degrees of injury in the said attack.
Several other communities in the area were also allegedly attacked.
The situation prompted the Olu of Ilaro and the paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, to appeal to government to protect lives and property in his domain.
Youths in the area under the auspices of Yewa North Patriotic Forum issued a seven-day ultimatum to killer herdsmen to vacate the area.
The violence in Shasha area of Ibadan, Oyo State capital, among others in the South-West, got Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, who is the Chairman of South-West Governors Forum, and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State worried as they pleaded with parties to conflicts in the region not to take the law into their hands.
The Ibadan clash had reportedy led to the death of some residents, destruction of properties and displacement of people.
The state government imposed curfew in the area.
Speaking on the Ogun incident, a member of Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Wahab Haruna Abiodun Egungbohun, said killings in the area were becoming unbearable as his people could no longer sleep with their two eyes closed.
His words, “On Thursday, some communities in Yewa North, that include Owode Ketu, Ijoun, Eggua, Igan-Alade, Tata were reportedly attacked by herdsmen who killed two villagers.
“On Friday night again, heavily armed men entered Orile-Igbooro village in Yewa North and no fewer than four villagers were killed, some houses burnt while many people were left with varying degrees of injury.
“It is clear that these herdsmen are behind the attacks.
“Ketu Constituency II has often witnessed violence attack stemming from disputes between herdsmen and farmers”.
Reacting to attacks in his domain, the Olu of Ilaro and paramount ruler of Yewaland in Ogun State, Olugbenle, appealed to the federal and Ogun State governments to protect lives and property.
According to him, indiscriminate killing and maiming of innocent people in the area by herdsmen and bandits should stop.
The traditional ruler, who made the appeal in a press release he personally signed, noted that the call became imperative in order to save the situation before it gets out of hand.
He explained that criminal and dangerous activities of herdsmen in his domain had so far happened in Egua, Oja-Odan, Igan-Alade, Gbokoto, and Ijoun, Owode-Ketu, Ebute Igbooro, Imeko Afon among other major towns in Yewaland”.
The youths, under the auspices of Yewa North Patriotic Forum gave their ultimatum in a press statement tagged ‘YNPF to killer Fulani herdsmen: We can’t condone you beyond seven days’.
According to the statement signed by the President of the group, Sani Omobolaji, villagers had been living in fear of killings which could only be traced to herders.
Akeredolu appeals to residents
In a statement, Akeredolu appealed to residents, in particular the Yoruba in Ibadan, Oyo State, not to take the law into their hands following the violence that erupted in Shasha.
In the statement he personally signed last night, the Chairman of South-West Governors Forum said the region’s governors “note with deep concern, the most unfortunate and avoidable orgy of violence in Shasha, Ibadan, Oyo State capital”.
He went on: “As governor of Ondo State who doubles as Chairman, South West Governors’ Forum, it becomes very compelling for me to address ALL RESIDENTS, in particular, the Yoruba speaking people of our dear region as regards recent happenings bordering on security.
“Without doubt, the situation we have found ourselves as a people is most despicable and contends violently against, and abhorrently at variance with the values and hospitality for which our people are known.
“We have been known for thoroughness. We have identified with legality over the centuries; and our ethos as a civilised breed of people are such that we do not identify with lawlessness, not even illegality.
“ ln this regard, we urge all indigenes of the South West to sustain these values and enviable virtues by remaining law abiding.
“Our resolve in this direction is not a sign of weakenss; it is indeed, the strongest of all.
“ ln particular, while I understand the height of provocation in the light of recent happenings as regards Shasha, Ibadan, I, alongside my other brother Governors in the Region are against willful appropriation of Laws unto hands.
“ We do not support violence and in particular, brigandage, jungle justice and unnecessary self-help.
“We note with delight, the efforts of our brother Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde of Oyo State who has taken very bold steps to stave off further escalation of the violence by imposing curfew in the affected areas.
“He deserves every support in his avowed commitment towards peace and security in Oyo State. We shall all survive these times and live peacefully, once again in our lands”.
Disaster looms if … Fayemi
On his part, Fayemi has called on the warring parties to the Shasha, Ibadan clash to sheath their swords.
Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, sympathised with the government and people of Oyo State, especially families that have lost lives and properties during the violent clash.
He also commended Governor Seyi Makinde for taking immediate steps in arresting the carnage, including the declaration of curfew.
Fayemi said regardless of the cause of the disagreement that led to the mayhem, a peaceful resolution of the conflict remained the best option.
He urged the Yoruba and Hausa traders in the area and in different parts of the country to see themselves as brothers and partners in progress, adding that disagreements should not always be allowed to degenerate into violence, maiming and killing.
The Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) warned that the Shasha crisis, if not curtailed, could ignite pockets of crises in different parts of the country, adding that that could be disastrous for the country.