Residents, Obas, and some monarchs of Ketu-speaking villages in Yewa North Local Government Area, Ogun State have lamented that they were brutalized by soldiers who escorted herdsmen to graze in their communities.
In separate interviews with The Nation, the residents narrated that the soldiers, numbering about 10, flogged them for daring to prevent the herders from grazing.
It was learnt that one of the residents, identified simply as Mulero, was beaten mercilessly, leaving him with serious injuries, for insisting that the herdsmen would not be allowed to graze.
It was also gathered that traditional rulers were beaten after they were forced to convoke a meeting.
According to them, the herdsmen, who had departed the village after their continued presence was rejected suddenly resurfaced about 2 pm on December 19, 2020, with the soldiers from the 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta.
The soldiers headed straight to the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, Chief Olaleye Adigun, calling out the villagers and warning them against preventing the evicted herdsmen from returning to the village.
It was in the middle of this strange encounter that the soldiers were told that the herders would not be allowed to remain in the community because of their brutal killing of residents and the destruction of their farmlands in recent times.
One of the residents, identified simply as Mulero, said, “Everyone was frightened by the action and utterances of the soldiers but I summoned the courage to tell them how a Geography teacher Mr. Yomi Akinola and two students of Community High School, Ibeku, among others, were killed by the herdsmen while our women were raped and killed on their ways to the farm.
“Before I knew it, the herdsmen had motioned to the soldiers who immediately pulled me out of the audience and flogged me mercilessly with a wire whip. It was as if I stole something valuable.
“As I speak, my body still aches because of the wounds, even after I had been treated in a hospital.
“Numerous other villagers were subjected to the brutal act as the soldiers escorted the herdsmen from one village to another all in a bid to intimidate us into allowing them to graze on our farms.”
Also, indigenes of Iselu, Ibeku, Agbon-Ojodu, Asa, and other villages were also harassed and assaulted by the soldiers at the instance of the herdsmen.
One of them, Mulero’s brother, Gabriel, was said to be given deafening slaps after he was identified as one of those who resisted the herdsmen’s attempt to graze.
Narrating their experience in a petition, the traditional rulers said the herdsmen confirmed that they invited the soldiers to intimidate, harass, and beat them.
The traditional rulers are the Oniggua of Iggualand, Oba Micheal Dosumu; the Eselu of Iseluland, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi; and the Alademeso of Igan Alade, Oba Gabriel Olalowo.
The monarchs in a petition addressed to the Brigade Commander, 35 Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army, Alamala, Abeokuta, titled, ‘matter of urgency,’ dated January 7, 2020, said, “The Baale was asked to gather his subjects and people from nearby villages which he did. The suspected soldiers told the people that the purpose of their visit was to inform them that the Fulani herders would be coming into their communities to graze cows.
“After their address, they asked if anyone had a question or comment to make in reaction to the information. Expectedly, one Mr Seye Mulero responded by calling the attention of the soldiers to the inherent challenges of allowing the herders in their communities based on the sad previous experiences in the community.
“That the said Seye Mulero further cited past killings, maiming, and destruction of farms to buttress his point. Sadly, at this point, the soldiers seized him and mercilessly beat him up.
“In the same manner, the Fulani herders in the company of the suspected soldiers left Ibeku for Asa, the adjoining village to address the Baale of Asa and his subjects as they had earlier done at Ibeku, the people refused to respond, having heard what transpired at Ibeku.
“However, one of the Fulani herders sighted some of the people in the audience and picked on them as those that purportedly shouted on them at Ibeku while brutalizing their victim (Seye Mulero). The herders asked the soldiers to also deal with them.”
JUST IN: Yoruba Nation Protesters Storm Osogbo [VIDEO]
Scores of youths under the aegis of Omo Oduduwa United have stormed the streets of Osogbo capital of Osun State to agitate for the Yoruba nation.
The protesters converged on November 27 bridge in the Africa area, Osogbo for the protest.
They marched from the November 27 bridge through Ogo-Oluwa, Aregbe junction, Fakunle, Ola-Iya, and Odi Olowo areas.
The protesters carried placards, banners chanting secession songs, and distributing handbills to people along the streets.
They are heading to Nelson Mandela Freedom Park, Old Garage.
The Nation had reported there was heavy security presence in major junctions of Osogbo as men of DSS, Police, JTF, Amotekun and other local operatives were on the ground.
Credit: The Nation
Restructure Your State Before Calling For Restructuring At Federal Level —- Lawan Knocks Southern Governors
Ahmad Lawan, Senate President, has cautioned Governors calling for the restructuring of the country.
Lawan, who spoke to State House correspondents on Thursday, said although he was not against those calling for restructuring, elected officials must not be among those advocating such.
According to him, state governors must ensure that they restructured their respective states first before calling for restructuring at the federal level.
He said: “The call for secession or the call for restructuring, many are genuine calls even though I never believe that someone who is calling for secession means well or is a misguided person.
“But I believe that when somebody calls for improving the structure that we have is a genuine call.
“But I want to advice here, I believe that as leaders those of us who were elected must not be at the forefront of calling for this kind of thing because even if you are a governor you are supposed to be working hard in your state to ensure that this restructuring you are calling for at the federal level you have done it in your state as well.
“This is because what you may accuse the federal government of whatever it is, you may also be accused of the same thing in your state.”
“So, we are supposed to ensure that we have a complete and total way of ensuring that our systems at the federal, state, and even local government work for the people and that we allow people to participate in governance so that whoever feels that he has something to offer to make Nigeria better does so freely without any hindrance.’’ NAN quoted him as saying.
Lawan also said Nigerians must come together regardless of their religious, ethnic, or political persuasions to find lasting solutions to the nation’s challenges.
He called on all elected leaders across the three tiers of government to always avoid primordial sentiments capable of creating division and social discontent among Nigerians.
“We should avoid partisanship, we should avoid regionalism. We are all leaders and we are in this together. The solution must come from us regardless of what level of government we are – whether at the federal, state, or even at the local government level,’’ he added.
Lawan, who also frowned at the way the local government system was relegated to the background in the country, noted that for the nation to address its security challenges the local government system must be functional and efficient.
“I want to take this opportunity also to say that we have diminished the local government system. I think we can attribute some of the security issues to the lack of a functional local government system.
“For me, I think the time has come for us to take up the challenge to ensure that the local government system functions. This is in keeping with looking for ways, for means, for solutions to the security challenges that we face. We must never neglect the local government system.
“I believe that this is one system that had worked even though in a different name. When it was Native Authority it was very effective, very efficient.
“So, we must go back to our local government to ensure that the local government continues to be autonomous, continues to be functional in order to complement whatever the States and the Federal Government would be doing.
Ohanaeze To Sanwo-Olu: Ignore Threat Of Attack On Lagos, Igbo Aren’t Violent People
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, has asked Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governor, to ignore threats of attacks on the state.
On Monday, Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos commissioner of police, said the command is probing threats of attacks by the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Oodua Republic agitators.
The groups have, however, denied the allegations.
Speaking at a meeting with Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos government house on Thursday, George Obiozor, Ohanaeze president-general, said the “rumour” is intended to distract the governor from delivering good governance to the people.
Obiozor said Igbo people are not known for acts of violence.
“Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, in the company of Igbo elders and leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you (Sanwo-Olu) a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we are known for acts of violence anywhere we live,” Gboyega Akosile, chief press secretary to the governor, quoted Obiozor as saying.
“[On] the constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumour, gossip and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yorubaland contemplate or instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yorubaland, we wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumour or statement is emanating from is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.
“We think that this rumour is intended to distract the Lagos State Government from its efforts to provide good governance for all and cause disaffection between Ndigbo who live in Lagos and their host community, which is the second home of several Ndigbo.
“The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the southwest was a source of relief.
“The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders and their contributions to the development of Lagos State are evident and exemplary.”
Responding, Sanwo-Olu said his administration will continue to secure the lives and property of residents in the state.