A group of farmers in Oyo State’s Oriire Local Government Area peacefully protested on Thursday, pleading with the state government and Oba Ghandi Olaoye, the Soun of Ogbomosoland, to intervene on their behalf due to persistent attacks on their farms by purported herders.
The farmers begged the traditional ruler and other relevant parties to protect them from the attacks on their farms as they staged the protest at the Soun of Ogbomoso’s palace.
Speaking through Aremu Ogundare, the protesters disclosed that they were from Kedo Arigbeyo, Kedo Salami, and Mosunmaje, three distinct villages within the local government area.
Ogundare, who was also the Head of Kedo Arigbeyo, bemoaned the fact that the so-called herdsmen continued their destructive ways, forcing them to come to the palace to ask for help from the government and the monarch.
“Cows have become a menace to us; the issue became more serious four or five years ago,” he stated. We no longer enjoy farming because they destroyed all of the cassava we raised, and now there is no longer any cassava on the property.
The herders would take their cows there at night to eat them alive at the cashew farms that we considered as a last resort. It is difficult for us to feed our families these days, we are unable to send our kids to school, and our higher education students have returned home because we are no longer able to raise the money to support them. Moreover, feeding is an issue. We came here with a message to save our souls because of that.
“We reported to the local government chairman, we spoke about it multiple times, and we were at the police station, but none of these led to a resolution. The pastoralists continued. The harders would frequently kill anyone who resisted them, and they would machete us.
“Women are no longer able to work on the farm; even men, who have a duty to provide for our families, fear going outside. We have come to ask our royal father for help because we are tired of being powerless.
A clash between Operation Burst, Oodua Peoples Congress, Amotekun, Soludero, and a group of herdsmen in October 2023 left many people fearing for their lives.
According to The Reporter-Correspondent’s investigations, a herdsman group broke into a local farm and let their cattle graze there, which caused the farm owner to pass away during the argument.
In the process, crops valued at thousands of naira were also destroyed.