Residents of Ijagba community, in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State, have protested the unending criminal activities of suspected herdsmen in their community.
The protest was held on Thursday, June 15, 2023, after suspected herdsmen killed a 53-year-old farmer, Mr.Ohiremen Isaac Odeh and collected N400,000 ransom to release his son, Solomon Isaac.
Father and son were abducted on their way to their farm in the community.
It was gathered that deceased’s deteriorating health could not make him trek the long distance to the kidnappers’ den in the forest, hence they strangled him to death.
According to the community, the incessant attack, kidnapping and killings of residents by suspected herdsmen, was becoming unbearable, saying communities in the area are now under the siege of terrorists.
The Prime Minister of Ijagba community, High Chief Sunday Ogoh, who spoke with journalists on behalf of the community in Akure the state capital said:
“We came here to inform the whole world what is happening in our local government area most especially at Ijagba community, for the past two years. We have not been having peace of mind in our community with a lot of kidnapping, killings, burning of our houses, farm lands by these Fulani herdsmen that had been terrorising the community.
“Just three days ago, we lost one of our illustrious son by name Ohiremen Isaac Odeh while the son too, named Solomon Isaac Odeh, was also attacked on their way to the farm. Apart from that, in that area, we also lost one of our former Chairman Mr. Bola Adelegbe.
“In search for the victims in the bush it was discovered that Mr. Ohiremen Isaac Odeh was killed by the abductors, while his lifeless body was found after trekking some kilometers in the bush. Same day, the remains of Mr. Ohiremen Isaac Odeh has been deposited in the mortuary, while a ransom of N400,000 was paid to the abductors to release his son.
“It is now imperative, due to the ugly incident to carry out and seek the support of the government and all relevant authorities to protect our lives and properties, which is one of the aims of the government since we can no longer go to the farm or sleep with our two eyes closed. This problem is not only limited to Ijagba, these Fulani herdsmen do operate in Imoru, Molege, Arimagija, Ute and Okeluse. That axis there is no security in that areas”, he said.
Specifically, Ogoh appealed to the state government on the need to create a strong military base and two checkpoint between Ifon, Imoru, Ijagba, Ute and Okeluse in order to reduce the attack of the suspected herdsmen.
“Now, many people cannot go to their farms, and whenever you’re going to the farm, you must be looking both your left and right and front and back because they can attack you at any time with their guns and weapons. The area has become the den of terrorists because there is a big forest reserve behind Okeluse, they use the place as their base and whenever they kidnapped people they will ask for ransom and once you cannot give them the ransom within two to three days they will kill you. So we have lost about 20 souls in that areas in the last two years.
“We have reported to the state government and the security agencies in the state and the traditional rulers in that communities have held a several meeting but up till now we have not seen any positive responses from the state government,” he said.
Speaking to newsmen, Solomon said he and his father were on their way to the farm when the kidnappers waylaid them and marched them into the forest.
“They (herdsmen) use rope to tie me and my father and they said that if our relatives cannot pay the ransom they will kill us. They killed my father, while the sum of N400,000 was paid before they released me.”
Spokesperson of the State Police Command, Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya, confirmed the incident.
“We are aware of the situation in the community and we are on top of the situation with a view to arresting those behind the attack