Residents of Ajowa community in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Monday raised the alarm over continuing criminal activities of herdsmen in the community.
Recall that last week, residents of three communities—Ijagba, Imoru, Arimogija, in Ose council area of the state, fled their communities to neighbouring towns and villages, over incessant attack by suspected herdsmen.
The traditional ruler of the town, the Oloso of Oso Ajowa, Oba Jimoh Omoola, was recently abducted and spent 10 days in captivity before regaining his freedom.
Other monarchs in the neighbouring communities in Akoko, contributed the ransom paid to his abductors before he was released.
However, the spokesperson of Ajowa community, Mr Jaco Adegoke, at a town hall meeting to discuss the activities of the herdsmen, narrated a bitter experience of residents in the last two years.
Adegoke said: “Our experiences in the hands of these criminals in the last two years are unimaginable.
“In the last two years, these criminals have killed, maimed, raped and kidnapped our people.
“Our people live in fear. Our farmers are afraid to go to the farm, for fear of being killed or kidnapped.
“Those who summoned the courage to go in a bid to feed their family members, go alone. They now sneak to and from the farm.
“Our wives and daughters do not follow us to the farm again for fear of being raped or killed by the herdsmen.”
Also, speaking at the meeting, the chairman of Ajowa community and a retired Anglican Bishop, Rev Ezekiel Dahunsi, lamented that anxiety reigns in the community following the activities of the criminals.
On his part, the recently released monarch, who spoke at the meeting, called for the establishment of a Divisional Police Headquarters at Ajowa to curtail the criminal activities of the bandits.
Oba Omoda said: “Military personnel should also be deployed to support security system in the community.”
When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, told Vanguard that the government has been flushing out the herdsmen who attack communities in the state which shared borders with neighbouring states.
Dojumo, in a chat with Vanguard, said: “We are not relenting; we will continue to ensure the safety of our people in the border towns and communities. We shall continue to prevent these herdsmen from further encroachment from neighbouring states.”
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