Herdmen attacks: Kogi West group raises alarm

Herdmen attacks: Kogi West group raises alarm

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 12:17 pm

A Fulani herdsman with gun

Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

Okun Development Association, ODA, the umbrella socio cultural Union of Yoruba speaking people of Kogi State has raised the alarm on the grave insecurity posed by herdsmen in the area and called on all sons and daughters to join in the search for solution. This follows escalating cases of robbery, kidnapping, raping and killing in Okunland.

This is contained in a Clarion call made by Alara Past. Ayo Abereoran, ODA National Secretary and widely circulated among people of Okun land. The message further directed Okun people in the diaspora to come home for a stakeholders meeting on the matter.

Noting that the situation is grave and extremely serious, Abereoran said farmers can no longer go to their farms and indigenes of the area can no longer freely visit home for fear of herdsmen attack.

“The ODA’s very urgent and clarion call is therefore that every son and daughter of Okun must as matter of urgency rise up and face holistically the unprecedented security challenge forth with.
He traced the roots of the issue to Governor Yahaya Bello’s open invitation to the Fulani herdsmen. “In January 2018 after the Okun development Association (ODA) Executive Council meeting with Okun traditional fathers and other stakeholders on the security situation in Okunland, held at St Augustine College Kabba, a press statement was released in which it was  shown how unhappy Okun were at the Kogi state Governor’s  open invitation to the Fulani herdsmen to come to the state without caution.

“The position of ODA in respect of the unfavorable invitation resulted in Okun sons in government, Local Goveenment Administrators, Political office holders showing disregard towards ODA’s position; insinuating that ODA was crying wolf where there is none.

“They further asked that the  Governor should ignore our position, and that ODA had no mandate to arrive at such position on behalf of Okun people.

“Since the arrival of these uninvited and clearly unwanted visitors to our land, the visitors have been forcing their way to every nook and cranny of Okun land.

“Their  invasion had resulted into serious hardships on our people, killing, raping, kidnapping and  torturing of our unprotected people without let.

“It is a well  known fact that these Fulanis have no history of being good visitors to any environment.
Their agenda usually is to pummel, coerce, torture, kill, subjugate, dominate, conquer and rule over the land of  their supposedly conquered people and their property.

The ODA Secretary said the security agencies appear overwhelmed and urged people irrespective of political or religious affiliations to rise up in the defence of their fatherland.

“The National Executive Council of ODA is therefore calling on every son and daughters of Okun to show much more than a mere passing interest in this grave security situation confronting us before it gets beyond the present level.

“ODA is urging all Okun citizens,  most especially those residing outside Okun land to come home and join the ODA in its bid at convocating a very high powered  stakeholders meeting in the various communities all over Okunland in conjunction with the traditional rulers, opinion leaders,  and elders, hunters, Community Development Association Executive Councils, religious leaders of all faiths to chat a way forward and jointly proffer solutions towards this looming and seriously impending danger

Abereoran however assured that despite the precarious situation, Okun people will triumph over the enemy, through the help of God.

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