‘They took turn and raped me’
By Kehinde Adejumo
Victims of herdsmen attacks in Isua Akoko, of Akoko South East local government area of Ondo state have narrated their recent ugly experiences in the hands of their detractors.
One of the victims, one Mrs Elizabeth Adagunodo in a chat with Community Hope lamented how her farm was plundered by the herdsmen. “Right before me, they uprooted my cassava to feed their animals, and they threatened to kill me if I say anything, I have to run for my life.
“All that I had worked for this year have been destroyed and it was this farm that I depended on for our upkeep and for the payment of my children’s school fees, now I am in a dilemma on what to do”, she sobbed profusely as she narrated her ordeals.
She called on spirited individuals and the government to come to her aid and that of her children.
She said many farmers are now afraid to go to their farms for fear of herdsmen attack.
Another woman who was raped, who pleaded anonymity, said the herdsmen tied her mouth with her cloth and three of them took turn on her. “They thought l was dead, that was why they left me”, she said.
The people of the area pleaded with the government of Ondo to rescue them from the hands of the herdsmen.
Speaking on insecurity in the local government, a community leader, in Isua Akoko, Mr John Babalola called on the State government to come to their aid in curtailing the unwholesome activities of herdsmen in the area.
Babalola who made this plea, during a recent visit to the area by Community Hope, said the activities of the herdsmen had plugged the people into untold hardship.
Babalola said apart from the fact that these herdsmen allowed their cattle to feed on their crops, ” they also uprooted our cassava and yam tubers to feed their animals and anyone who challenge them will be beaten up and they even threatened to kill such a person .”
He lamented that their (the herdsmen) actions have put the community in the danger of imminent famine and food shortage. He said farming is the major occupation of the people of the area and proceed from farming is their only source of income, and as a result of this act the people’s means of livelihood had been affected.
Babalola added that few weeks ago, the herdsmen set their farm ablaze, their cocoa, kolanut, cassava and Palm tree Plantations farms were burnt, as if this was not enough, some women were also raped while the man that confronted them was seriously injured.
He pleaded with the government to act fast before they turned Ondo State to another Benue or Kaduna where hundreds of people were killed and thousands rendered homeless.
He suggested that the herdsmen should be restricted to a particular area and banned from moving about with their cattle adding that the Federal Government should create a grazing zone for them in the northern part of the country.
He called on the legislative arm of government to pass a law that will curb the excesses of the herdsmen before it snowballs into ethnic crisis or insurgency.
“There were so many cases of kidnapping and robbery in the Northern Senatorial District of the state, something must be done urgently before it gets out of hand,” Babalola pleaded.