Ebira farmers in Ondo allege herders attack, seek help
Ebira farmers in Ondo State at the weekend protested the alleged invasion of their farmlands and attack of their members by the ‘wandering’ herders.
Sources said that over 20 Ebira, mainly cash crop farmers, who have their farms located at Elegbeka, Ago Gboro, Oba-Ile, Iju-Itaogbolu, Ologido, Malege, and Ogbese, among other settlements in Akure South and Akure North local councils, were already receiving medical attention in various hospitals across the state as a result of the attack.
However, farmers in the area, under the aegis of Ebira Farmers Association (EFA), lamented that herdsmen often attack them on their farms and destroy their farms produce.
Chairman of the association, Alhaji Amuju Ovoro, recounted that “Fulani herders are attacking us on regular basis; they will invade our farms with their cows and uproot our crops prematurely, causing unprecedented losses to us.”
“As of today, 20 of our members are being hospitalised following an attack by Fulani herdsmen on our farms. Our crops are being destroyed and our water contaminated.
“The herdsmen will arm themselves with offensive weapons in the night with their mission of massive destruction on our farm crops and assault on us.
“They even went to the extent of raping our women. We are pleading with the governor to rescue us. We are peace-lovers and have been operating in Ondo State for several decades without molestation from any quarters,” he said.
Also, the state President of Ebira Community, Alhaji Abdulsalam Dagana, said: “The Fulani herdsmen are committing many atrocities against my kinsmen. Akeredolu should kindly wade into this matter before it gets out of hand.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Ebira Community Matter, Hassan Ahete, who appealed to his kinsmen to remain calm, said that he had been moving from one Ebira camp to the other to sue for peace.
But the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, when contacted for confirmation, said the matter had not been officially reported at the police command.
Joseph, however, noted that if such incident happened, the farmers should report the matter to the police, assuring that they would spring into action to arrest the offenders and prosecute them accordingly.