Pandemonium as herdsmen invade Ondo council secretariat
Fayose to raise panel on attack, amend anti-grazing law
It was pandemonium yesterday as suspected herdsmen invaded the secretariat of Akure South Local Council of Ondo State.The action of the invaders, numbering 30 and armed with cutlasses, knives, cudgels, charms and other dangerous weapons, resulted in the council being deserted as early as 8:30am. Workers and prospective couples who had booked ceremonies at the registry were nowhere to be found during a visit to the scene.
It was gathered that one of the workers, identified as Mr. Simeon Johnson, had a confrontation with a herdsman grazing on the council’s vegetable farm sited on a large expanse of land at the back of the secretariat.He noted that the chasing away of the indifferent eight-year-old which led to his tripping that irked an onlooking older herdsman and the suspected who drew out his sword and engaged the council worker who was reportedly in possession of a cutlass.
Both men were said to be seriously injured from the confrontation, resulting in reinforcement by the nomads.The herdsmen reportedly chased the council employee to the secretariat resulting in the scampering for safety by the workers who beheld the spectacle.A council worker and an eyewitness, Olaleye Ojomu, recounted; “I noticed the development and I picked my phone to record the situation, and before I could start the recording, they swarmed on me and I ran away.
“I fell down in the process and was seriously injured. I managed to escape but they all headed towards the offices, threatening to kill our workers.”However, the state police command and other security agencies promptly mobilised to restore peace in the area. The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju, who visited the scene, assured the workers of their safety, pledging that the culprits would be arrested and prosecuted at the end of investigation.
The caretaker council chairman, Mrs. Margret Atere, described the incident as unfortunate. She, however, lauded the security agencies for their prompt response.Atere stated that the council would not be shut down due to the incident.
In the meantime, Governor Ayodele Fayose has visited Ipao Ekiti community in Ikole council area where herdsmen allegedly murdered a thirty-two year old farmer, Tunde Olayemi, on Sunday.
During a meeting with the leaders of the town, the governor promised to set up a five-man investigative committee to unravel the root cause of the killing, just as he promised to compensate the bereaved family and the herdsmen that lost their cattle to the incident.
Warning against reprisal, Fayose said he would amend the state’s anti-grazing law to harbour a one-year jail term for anyone who kills a herder’ s cow.The Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Chafe, assured the people that measures had been deployed to secure the community.
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