Tension is mounting in Ondo state as traditional rulers in Ose Local Government Area of the state on Sunday raised alarm over spate of insecurity in the area, saying the development had been fuelled by the influx of herdsmen and other undesirable elements into the communities within the council.
The traditional rulers who sent a Save our Soul to governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, after meeting with stakeholders in the area said the frightening situation had led to the spike in attack on farmers, kidnapping, rape and the destruction of farmlands with the attendant dangerous implications for food security not only in agrarian community of Ose local government but also entire state as a whole.
In the communique, issued by four of the traditional rulers in the area, which include, Olute of Ute, Oba (Rtd Major) Oluwole Akinrongbe, Olumoru of Imoru, Oba ‘Rotimi Obamuwagun, Arujale Ojima of Okeluse, Oba Oloyede Akinghare and Odibiado of Ijagba, Oba Andrew Okioya, said the activities of the herdsmen had been hindering preparation for the planting season
They noted that farmers who are supposed to mobilize for the new farming season have been driven from farms by heavily armed miscreants who have been mobilising themselves into the area on a daily basis.
The royal fathers, therefore, called on the state government, security agencies to take urgent steps to stem the dangerous tide, saying the rate, level and degree of unprovoked attacks on towns, villages and settlements in the area is becoming very scary and highly embarrassing.
The monarchs commended the state governor, Akeredolu, police, Amotekun Corps and other security agencies for tackling insecurity in the state but called for increased and urgent steps to restore peace and sanity in the affected areas.
“We passionately appeal that more definite and significant efforts be put in place to ensure more holistic approach to this unending security problems” they said
According to them, the emerging insecurity in the area, if not tackled with increased efforts, could result in famine in the state advised the people in residents of the communities to be extra vigilant and report suspected movement and cases to the security agencies.
The communique of the traditional rulers reads: “That the rate, level and degree of unprovoked attacks on towns, villages and settlements in the southern part of Ose Local Government Area are very scary and highly embarrassing.
“That this perennial/incessant attacks usually leaves in its wake massive destruction of lives, properties, arson, rapes of married women, teenagers, underage, Kidnaping, murder etc.
“That all the camps, villages, settlements and suburbs like Arimogija, have been sacked by these terrorists, bandits and armed herders with sophisticated weapons and these perpetrators destroyed hectares of plantations of plantains, cassava, yams etc at will, harvest such crops and feed their animals e.g. cows with them.
“That they perpetrate such atrocities, on the alleged belief that their cows usually give birth to two or three of their kinds at once when they are fed with this crops.
“That at regular intervals, they willfully set fires on cocoa and other farmlands thereby causing poverty, hardship, hunger, sorrow and extreme pains to our people.
“That our entire landscape is agrarian, therefore, our people are basically small and medium scale farmers hence, their livelihood depends on these efforts, now totally annihilated.
“That now, our people live in constant fears and can no longer access their farmlands and places of business because the bandits, terrorists and armed herders have forcefully occupied and taken over our farmlands and forests”
The traditional rulers however, demanded for
“Deployment of more security personnels to this area due to its strategic position and establishment of Forward Operational Base in the area.
“Creation of standard police divisions in the area, provisions of effective patrol units in the area and proper clearing of the road verges in the area to ensure clear visibility”
“Deployment of a unit of Mobile Police men with armed APC, (Armoured Personnel Carrier), deployment of Technology to assist in the surveillance of ground forces and urgent provision of relief materials and economic empowerment for the displaced persons to prevent them from going into crimes”