The people of Oke Ako in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State have raised the alarm over the arrival on Saturday of Fulani men numbering over 60 in their community.
The people, who expressed fear that the newcomers would add to their pain and sorrow in the hands of Fulani herdsmen already occupying large portion of their land, called on the Ekiti State Government and security agencies to come to their rescue and ensure that the Fulani left their land.
“The Fulani had been here wreaking havoc on our farm crops and people, but others were conveyed to this place in three trucks on Saturday. They are over 60 and they arrived at Oke Ako in the night,” the Regent of Oke Ako, Princess Tinuade Ogunbiyi, stated.
Ogunbiyi lamented that the initial Fulani settlers were occupying 70 per cent of the community’s land, grazing their cattle and depriving the indigenes of the opportunity to farm.
The regent said, “They destroy the crops of our people in addition to being threats to the security of lives. Our people can no longer go to their farms.
“The result is that we no longer have food. The prices of foodstuffs have soared. Again, people are migrating out of Oke Ako in droves to guarantee their security. We are helpless. The Fulani are armed with guns and machetes; so, our people have to avoid them and leave the farms for them.
“We are calling on the state government and security agencies, including Amotekun, to rescue us. They are all aware of our situation. They should rescue us. There is the need for a standby joint security task force comprising the police, the Army, Amotekun and local hunters here. I think that will help.”
A community leader, Mrs Grace Olofin, who corroborated the regent, said, “We need security, but we don’t want the Fulani men to stay here. We don’t want them on our land, because of the threat that they pose to our security. When they settle down, they perpetrate kidnapping and raping.
“Already, those settled here have been destroying our people’s farms in the name of grazing their cows. For instance, this is the season for harvesting cashew, but our people, particularly the women, cannot get to the farms. All our yam seedlings have been harvested or destroyed by the Fulani herders.”
The spokesman for the Ekamefa communities comprising Oke Ako, Ijowa, Irele, Ipao, Itapaji and Iyemero, Mr Abayomi Oluwafemi, said the Fulani men, who arrived at the community on Saturday, came in their numbers with their families.
He stated, “We want Fulani people to leave this area so that our people can return to the farms to boost their economy and lead meaningful lives.
“We don’t want them here, because they demonstrate through their activities that they are enemies to the progress of the communities. They destroy our people’s farm produce and they are committed to leading our people to poverty, hunger and starvation. They also harm our people when they meet them in the farms.
“We can only call on the government to come to our rescue. Let there be security for lives and property. We are living in fear so that they don’t come in the night to massacre our people as witnessed in other parts of the country. The government should help us with security day and night. Our people can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed.”
The Ekiti State Amotekun Commander, Brig Gen Joe Komolafe (retd.), said, “We are on top of the situation; there is no cause for alarm. We are working in synergy with other security agencies to get to the root and ensure a solution.