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Suspected Herdsmen Attack Amotekun Officers Enforcing Ondo's Grazing Ban

Amotekun Officers Attacked by Herdsmen While Enforcing Anti-Grazing Law in Ondo

In a violent confrontation on Friday, suspected herdsmen attacked operatives of the Amotekun Corps in Igogba, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State. The officers were enforcing the state’s anti-open grazing law, enacted to protect farmland from being ravaged by cattle.

The anti-open grazing law was signed on August 31, 2021, by the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu. This legislation aimed to mitigate the recurring clashes between herders and farmers in Ondo State.

One of the Amotekun officers was severely injured during the attack. The officer, whose identity remains undisclosed, was hacked by the armed herdsmen.

Jimoh Adeniken, the spokesperson for the Amotekun Corps in Ondo, confirmed the incident in a statement on Saturday. He explained that the attack occurred as the officers were responding to complaints from farmers in the Igoba and Osi communities about the continuous destruction of their crops by cattle.

Adeniken detailed the sequence of events, stating that the Amotekun team, led by the farmers, found over 120 cows grazing unattended in the farms. As they moved the cows out of the farms, they were ambushed by armed Fulani herdsmen near the Sango Area, Igoba, along Ado Road in Akure. The attackers, armed with stones, bottles, cutlasses, and guns, assaulted the officers.

“The officers had to retreat on the command’s order as the attackers continued to hurl stones and bottles at them until they reached the main road,” Adeniken said. One officer was reportedly hacked into a coma during an attempt to disarm the attackers.

In response to the escalating violence, the Amotekun officers fired warning shots to disperse the assailants and returned to their base. Several officers sustained injuries and are receiving medical treatment.

The herders’ actions were condemned by Adeniken, who noted that the owner of the cows has been identified and that an investigation is ongoing.

The Amotekun Corps’ actions align with the Southern Governors’ Forum’s resolution to curb conflicts and maintain peace in Ondo State. The statement emphasized the government’s commitment to enforcing the law to protect farmers and their livelihoods from being destroyed by grazing cattle.

The statement concluded, “The government will continue to ensure the strict compliance of the anti-open grazing law to safeguard the efforts of our farmers and uphold the peaceful disposition of the people of Ondo State. Officers of the corps will remain dedicated to their duty of protecting the lives and property of the state’s residents.”

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