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Oke Ogun Elders Raise Alarm Over Insecurity In area, Urge Govt to Enforce Anti-grazing Law
The Federal and Oyo State Governments have been called upon to beef up security in Oke Ogun area of Oyo State by equipping security agencies enforcing anti-open grazing law that promulgated in 2020.
Oke Ogun Council of Elders (OCE) made the call in a Communique issued at the end of its mid-year meeting, held at the Ibadan home of Prof Laying Egunjobi, on Thursday, under the chairmanship of the council’s President, Otunba Bamidele Dada (OON), former Minister of State for Agriculture and Water Resources.
In the communique signed by the Council’s spokesman, Comrade Jare Ajayi, the elders stated that in addition to herders/farmers’ clashes that are still occurring, influx of Fulanis from outside Nigeria has increased security challenges in the area as being manifested in kidnapping, raping, and armed robbery cases. They, therefore, called on the both the Federal and Oyo State Governments and security agencies to be firmer in dealing with the situation.
They particularly decried the situation in which when farmers and herders have clashes, security agencies, especially the Police, tend to side with the herders.
“Even when the farmer is the victim, instances abound in which when, for instance, a cow ate tubers or grains sprayed with chemicals in a farm and something happened to the cattle, the farmer would be forced to pay for the dead cow even when it was the cattle that came to the farm. In this respect, security agencies, especially the Police, are called upon to ensure fairness and justice in their handling of farmers/herders’ clashes,” OCE said.
They also called on the Oyo State Government to, without further delay, commence the enforcement of the Anti-Open Grazing Law enacted in November, 2019.
The Elders Council noted with concern the strike action embarked upon by members of the vigilante group established by various local government councils in Oke Ogun as a result of imprecise remuneration and poor welfare, using the councils concerned to, as a matter of urgency, respond positively to the demands of the striking security personnel as their service is very critical.
The Oke Ogun Elders also appealed to the government to take positive actions on the mining activities going on in the area, with a view to ensuring that the local people benefit, unlike the present situation in which outsiders, including non-Nigerians, derive greater benefits through the illegal mining activities going on there.
Besides calling on the Federal Government to complete the work on long-abandoned Ikere Gorge Dam, the elders also urged the Oyo State Government to set up Oke Ogun Development Commission to redress the age-long marginalisation of the area.
Elders at the meeting included Deacon S. A. Oyedemi, Professor Layi Egunjobi, Elder Doja Oladele, Pastor Tunde Adigun, ACP Funke Ladigbolu, Alfa Amusa Adebisi, Engineer A. Shittu, Mr. Wole Oladokun, Mr. Isaac Funmpe Ojeyemi, Barrister Bayo Toluwalase, Mr. I. Taiwo, Mr. Solomon Ige, Mr. I. E. Bolaji, Mr. David Aremu and Comrade Jare Ajayi.