Youths and people of Ayede-Ogbese Kingdom in Akure North local government area of Ondo State have staged peaceful protest to express their displeasure over incessant attacks and kidnapping of some residents by suspected foreign fulani herdsmen.
The youths on Friday March 24, 2023 trooped out in their number on Akure-Owo Highway to demand decisive actions from government and security agencies after writing several petitions to draw the attention of the authorities to their plight over the years.
It was a gathering of angry young people and residents fed up with the perceived inaction and insensitivity of Nigeria’s Security Agencies to the incessant and increasing violence by a gang of Fulani terrorists attacking the community and its people.
The protest though vehement remained peaceful until soldiers from the Nigerian Army arrived and allegedly firing live bullets indiscriminately at the gathered youths and seriously injuring one of the youths in the process.
Speaking on the ugly development, the Lisa of Ayede Ogbese, High Chief FEMI FAJEMBIMO, lamented undue security beaches being caused by some fulani herdsmen in the town are mostly from Chad and Niger Republic.
The Lisa said, “The Kingdom Has Been Under Attack For Over 3 Years; A group of Fulani, apparently from neighboring countries of Chad and Niger, have set up structures in the territory to take over vast areas of farmland by force.
“The leaders of this Fulani group (who receive instructions from their commanders based somewhere in Bauchi, by their own admission) have taken up residence in neighborhoods within Ayede Ogbese Kingdom whilst keeping their armed foot soldiers in the forests with their cattle.
“These armed Fulani terrorists (pretending to be cattle herders) are armed with Ak47 rifles and other dangerous weapons with which they constantly attack anyone that ventures into the territory they have forcefully taken over.
“From time to time these armed miscreants would allegedly plan hijacks and kidnappings to make money to buy additional arms. This has been going on for about 3 years to the knowledge of the authorities.
“A Political Dimension In The Invasion Strategy; Recently, the invasion by the Fulani took on a political dimension when one of their leaders (Ibrahim Giye) decided he wanted to remove the Seriki Hausa-Fulani of Ayede Ogbese Kingdom, appointed by the community’s King.
“When this was resisted by the Hausa-Fulani leadership in the Kingdom a feud developed between the integrated and acculturated Hausa-Fulani community in the Kingdom and the invading Fulani group.
“This feud has resulted in the arrest and detention of the king’s appointed Seriki Hausa-Fulani (Alh. Aminu Abubakar) by Zone 17 Police Command officers (who claim to be acting on instructions from Abuja) over trumped up accusations made by Ibrahim Giye against him.
“Ibrahim Giye has been heard boasting of his contacts at the highest levels of Nigeria’s security agencies including the police. Giye’s son (Ali Ibrahim) was one of the top hatchet men of the group. He took a sadistic pleasure in matcheting farmers to death.
“Just on Wednesday 22nd March, a band of armed Fulani, armed with guns and machetes attacked tipper drivers loading sand at a mining site within the Kingdom. Six of the drivers ended up in hospital with serious injuries.
“On the same day a farmer was attacked with machetes on his farm. He too is in hospital with serious injuries.
“The dissatisfaction of the community with this state of affairs has been communicated to the Federal and State authorities by a petition dated the 20th February 2023, signed on behalf of the Kingdom by the Lisa of Ayede Ogbese, High Chief FEMI FAJEMBIMO, No remarkable action has been taken in response to this petition.
“Yesterday, two young people returning home from work were kidnapped by a band of armed Fulani. A demand for N10m ransom has been received by the family of one of the victims today.
“It is in response to these blatant acts of terrotism by the invading Fulani that the youth of the kingdom rose today to protest against the impunity of the invading Fulani and perceived inaction of the security agencies.
“It is therefore sad and disheartening that the response of the Nigerian armed forces today was to send armed soldiers to the Kingdom firing indiscriminately at the unarmed peacefully protesting youth.
“The result is a critically ill young man in hospital shot in the leg by a Nigerian soldier for protesting against the terrorist activities of an invading army of foreign Fulani,” the Lisa of Ayede-Ogbese.
However, the State Police spokesperson, Funmi Odunlami, said police in the state have been able to restore sanity to the area.
She appealed to the youths to allow peace to reign while assuring that security agencies have commenced thorough search in the area to secure the release of the kidnapped victims.
Similarly, the Ondo State Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence corps, (NSCDC), Daniel Aidamenbor said efforts are on to deal with the situation.