Ondo Community Laments Herdsmen Invasion & Police Harassment Over Cows’ Death

source: punchng

People of Ifon in Ose LGA of Ondo State have decried the high rate of criminality by those masquerading as herdsmen in the community. Activities of bandits in the area resulted in killing of the monarch of the community, Oba Israel Adeusi, last year. Speaking with journalists Thursday, the President, Ifon Development Union, Chief Olufemi Awani, appealed to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd); the Inspector-General of Police and the state Commissioner of Police to intervene in the matter, adding that the town was under siege from herdsmen, who seemed to be taking advantage of the monarch death. Awani said, “The menace of herders and bandits masquerading as herdsmen has been on the increase and our community, being largely agrarian, has been at the receiving end. The herders, as if the death of our monarch was an invitation to them, have invaded our farmlands and are having a field day. Few weeks back, farmers at Odogboro and Ugboke in Ifon were sent out of their farms when armed herders invaded with their cows. All these have been going on unhindered and without question or check, at least, none of these dangerous herders has been brought to justice” Awani also accused the police of harassing leaders of the community over the death of cows owned by one of the herders in the area. He explained, “One Abdullahi went to Ifon Police Station to report that our people killed his cows on January 6, 2021. This necessitated the DPO inviting some of our community leaders for questioning. Those invited denied killing the cows and confirmed to the DPO that the area of the reported incident was not on Ifon land. The matter was laid to rest. “Unknown to our people, the matter did not end there. It was a matter of great surprise that barely one month after on February 4, 2021, the same leaders were again invited to the Ifon Police Station by the DPO. On getting there, two men in mufti were introduced to them as police officers from the office of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, FIB Tactical Command Squad, Force Headquarters, SARS Building, Abuja. "The policemen from Abuja told our community leaders that one Alhaji Usman, who is unknown to our people, petitioned the police authority in Abuja, which necessitated their coming for a peaceful resolution and invited them to Abuja. The policemen from Abuja then brought out pro forma of an already prepared and signed letter-invitation, which was there and then addressed to each of the invited leaders.” When contacted, the Police PRO in the state, Mr Tee-Leo Okoro, claimed not to be aware of the matter. “I am not aware of the matter; I have to call the DPO of Ifon to confirm,” Ikoro stated.

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