Ogun Police Command has revealed exclusively to this medium that it has arrested three suspects concerning the attacks on Fulani settlements in Eggua, and other parts of Yewa North Local Government Area of the state in the last three days.
Again, it has also warned that it would no longer tolerate any act detrimental to peaceful coexistence of residents, as some of the Fulanis had lived in those host communities for over 20 years, while some of them were born and bred there.
While it said stakeholders at a meeting held at Alaye of Ayetoro’s palace on Thursday, had condemned wanton destruction of farmlands by cattle, kidnapping and raping of women as well as reprisal attacks on Fulani settlements.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi said they all unanimously condemned these actions, describing them as criminal and unacceptable, irrespective of the status, tribe or nationality of the perpetrators.
He said heads of all the security agencies including the army and the Directorate of State Services in the state were present at the meeting.
He said, “There have been some attacks in the past three days on herdsmen’s’ settlements in the state, especially in Yewa part of the state.
“The Command notes with sadness that the settlements affected have been in existence in the area for many years, in some cases over 20 years, and inhabited mainly by Nigerian herdsmens of Fulani extraction, some of whom were born and brought up in the area, and speak Yoruba language with proverbs fluently and elegantly.
“They generally qualified to be called fellow Yorubas!
Therefore, it is unlawful, indeed unconstitutional, to deny fellow Nigerians the right to live in any part of the country and pursue their legitimate businesses, including cattle rearing.”
The command, however, warned that “it is also advisable that herdsmen should avoid destructions of farmlands, which have been identified as the reason behind their unending disharmony and clashes with farmers and host communities.”
“The command also called on both farmers and herdsmen, indeed the entire Yoruba and Fulani communities in Yewa and across the state to fish out criminals, especially herdsmen visiting from other states and neighbouring countries who are perpetually creating tension among them, thus undermining their long and cherished history of peaceful coexistence.”
Oyeyemi said the command would make example of the suspects arrested over the mayhem to serve as deterrent to others.
He said, “Kingpins, procurers and counsellors of these hoodlums will also be fished out to face the law.”
He added that all the security agencies have resolved to deal decisively with miscreants and brigands alike, who are bent on fomenting trouble in the state, “as Ogun State is known for peace, and peace must continue to reign in the state.”