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Ogun: Herders decry hoodlums’ attack, seek justice

Some Fulani settlers in Ogun State have decried a recent attack on their settlements by miscreants whom they alleged set their shelters ablaze.  The leader…

Some Fulani settlers in Ogun State have decried a recent attack on their settlements by miscreants whom they alleged set their shelters ablaze

The leader of Fulani residing at Ikilala, Shimawa Area of Shagam, Ja’afaru Isa, lamented that their property and food stuff were vandalised by the hoodlums. 

The herders decried what they described as negligence on the part of the police in investigating the attacks and burning of their settlements. 

According to Ja’afaru Isa, the incident happened on March 17. 

He said they were given two weeks to vacate the area, adding that they could not salvage anything as the attackers who were led by one man popularly known as Shokoto  returned to demolish the place much earlier than the two-week ultimatum.

“They earlier came here, in the company of one policeman called Danladi,  who works at Shimawa division; they came and dropped a letter with a phone number asking us to vacate our settlements in two weeks, but the policeman urged them to give us two months. Some days after they left, I was not at home when I got information that Shokoto, accompanied by some gunmen, invaded our settlements and set it ablaze. They burnt all our belongings including our food, clothes and other valuable properties; we were left with only the clothes we were wearing the day of the attack,” he said. 

He disclosed that it was the owner of the land, one Emmanuel who fenced the place and asked them to build their huts on it pending when he will use the land. 

 “I was here for over five years with my cows and my family; my brother, Adamu came last year and when he came, Emmanuel has already fenced his land to certain level, so he asked my brother to build his huts on the land and stay for grace period of one year, and after one year, we called Emanuel and informed him that the one year grace he gave my brother to stay on that land has elapsed.

“Emmanuel replied that we should keep on staying there till he gets back to us; despite that assurance, Shokoto, who is not the owner of the land, came with other miscreants in  a company of gunmen and set our settlements ablaze. We reported the incident to two nearby police divisions, who did not even listen to our complaints, and we later reported to the police  Area Commander in Shagam.

“It was the Area Commander who sent his men to the scene of the incident to witness what happened; he later invited the prime suspect, that is Shokoto,  through that policeman called Danladi, but after that, the police failed to continue with the investigation; we want them to arrest the suspects and we also need justice.”

A victim of the attack, Fatima Abubakar told our reporter that all her belongings were burnt including her N350,000 cash which she realised from the sale of her cow.

She said, “They burnt all our belongings including our foodstuffs and my N350,000 naira cash which I got recently from selling my baby cow, and the property of my daughter who is set to get married after Sallah celebrations; all her new property including clothing and kitchen utensils were set ablaze.”

Amina Adamu, another victim of the attack, said the incident happened during the Ramadan fasting.

She lamented that they celebrated the Eid-el-Fitr  in hunger with nothing to rejoice about.

“The very day they attacked us, two of our women who were heavily pregnant delivered babies.

“As we later found out, since they had no shelter, rain fell on the new born babies and their mothers, and as I speak to you  now, they are all sick and we don’t have money to take them to the hospital. We need the government and other public spirited individuals to help us and also investigate this matter.”

When contacted, the spokesperson of the Ogun State Police Command, Omolola Odutola said although she was not aware of the incident, the herders according to her were residing in shanties which according to her is unlawful, as such illegal structures breed criminals.

She said, “I have no information; people who live in shanties are in illegal structures that breed and multiply criminals.”

 

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