Fulani Herdsmen Rape Newly Wed In Ogun

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A septuagenarian yesterday
revealed how a newly wedded lady in Asa Village, in Yewa North Local Government
Area of Ogun State, (name withheld) was allegedly raped by armed nomadic Fulani
herdsmen who were currently terrorizing more than 30 communities in the Council
Area. Pa Mathew Olukogun who spoke with journalists during a press conference
at Ojo-Odan, lamented what he described as “unabated gruesome killing of Ketu
people by the Fulani/Boboro herdsmen in recent times”.

Aside
from rape, assault and molestation of the rural dwellers, Olukogun said fears
of being attacked by the herdsmen had gripped the villagers who were appealing
to the state government to come to their aid. According to the aged man who
spoke on behalf of hundreds of farmers in the area, the immoral acts by the
normal Fulani had instilled fears into the communities. His words: “Aside from
this immoral act by the intruders, many of our sons and daughters have been
gruesomely murdered in a way that appears as if we don’t have government.

Our
brilliant ones including our wives have been raped, assaulted and even killed
by the strangers.” He said many of their wives and ladies that had been raped
were either on their way to the market or river to fetch water. “How would you
feel if I mention your wife’s name as one of those that have been raped by the
cattlerearers’’,, the old man replied in an answer to a question on the need
for him to mention names. Olukogun said those who had been raped by the
marauders knew themselves. “Many of our wives , ladies and daughter who have
been raped were largely taken to the hospital in Abeokuta, the state capital.
“We are
losing people as well as being prevented from doing what we know how to do best
because of the grazing of our farms by the herdsmen’s cattle’’. ‘’With the
terrible experience of the raping of our daughters and ones, including newly
wedded wives, living in our communities is no longer safe, hence, we have
deserted the communities in hundreds, praying that the state government would
urgently come to our aid.’’ According to him, the herdsmen usually lurk around
the communities and unleash terror on them in such a way that they are usually
helpless.
‘’The
worst of the action of the marauders was the raping of many newly wedded wives
in our communities and we are bitter about this.” He adds: “In a matter of
days, they enter the country through our communities and destroy our farmlands
with the indiscriminate grazing of their cattle. We are helpless and that’s why
we are appealing to the state government to urgently checkmate them.’’ Reacting
to the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi
said that the Ketu people were only crying wolf where none existed. While
warning the Ketu people not to drag the police into the matter, he stressed
that ‘’the police could only ensure that there was no breakdown of law and
order rather than stopping the Fulani herdsmen from coming into the area.’’
“They should not drag the police into the matter.
The
state government and the House of Assembly have set up a committee on the
matter. We are only waiting for the government, he said. On his own part, the
Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa said that the problem of
the clash between the Ketu people and the Fulani had been a recurrent one in
the past 15 years. Adeoluwa said that the state government’s desire to find a
lasting solution to the re-occurring problem made it to set up a committee
comprising the Ketu people, the Fulani and government officials to tackle the
problem.
“These
are unfair allegations. Last week, I held meetings with them. The 30 villages
in Ketu and the Fulanis too were represented. We’ve told the Fulani herdsmen to
hold on, that we have set minimum standards for them before they can come in,”
, he stated. Meanwhile, a coalition of socio-cultural groups from the area,
including Ketu Advancement Front, Ketu South People’s Assembly and Ketu
Alliance have alleged that about 21 innocent residents of the area have allegedly
been killed by the Fulani herdsmen since 2000.
The
spokesperson of the socio-cultural groups, Mr. Lasisi Adewole, said three
residents of the area, including Phillip Akanan from Owode-Ketu, Amosu
Olofinjin and Akinola Tunde from Agbon-Ojodu have been killed this year alone
by the Fulani herdsmen. Adewole also lamented that all efforts to ensure that
the police, the State Security Service and the state government put in place
adequate security measures to protect the people, particularly during dry season
when the Fulani herdsmen usually encroached and destroyed their farms by the
indiscriminate grazing of their cattle had yielded no fruits.

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