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Ogun monarchs accuse Army of conniving with herdsmen in attacks

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Some officers of the Nigerian Army have been accused by Ogun monarchs in Ketu communities of Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State of conniving with herdsmen during attacks on villagers in the state.

The development has thus forced the traditional rulers to file a petition to the Brigade Commander, 35 Artillery Brigade, Nigerian Army, Alamala, Abeokuta, over alleged connivance of its officers with herdsmen.

The petition which was made available to newsmen on Sunday was jointly signed by the Oniggua of Iggualand, Oba Micheal Dosumu; the Eselu of Iseluland, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi; and the Alademeso of Igan Alade, Oba Gabriel Olalowo.

Titled, ‘matter of urgency,’ the traditional rulers cited past killings, maiming and destruction of farms to buttress their allegation.

The petition reads thus in part; “The Baale was asked to gather his subjects and people from nearby villages which he did. The suspected soldiers told the people that the purpose of their visit was to inform them that the Fulani herders would be coming into their communities to graze cows.

“After their address, they asked if anyone had questions or comments to make in reaction to the information. Expectedly, one Mr Seye Mulero responded by calling the attention of the soldiers to the inherent challenges of allowing the herders in their communities based on the sad previous experiences in the community.

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“That the said Seye Mulero further cited past killings, maiming and destruction of farms to buttress his point. Sadly, at this point, the soldiers seized him and mercilessly beat him up.

“In the same manner, the Fulani herders in company of the suspected soldiers left Ibeku for Asa, the adjoining village to address the Baale of Asa and his subjects as they had earlier done at Ibeku, the people refused to respond, having heard what transpired at Ibeku.

“However, one of the Fulani herders sighted some of the people in the audience and picked on them as those that purportedly shouted at them at Ibeku while brutalising their victim (Seye Mulero). The herders asked the soldiers to also deal with them”.

In the petition, the traditional rulers also noted that the state Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, had on January 3 brokered a meeting over the matter at the Police Divisional Headquarters, Eggua.

They said; “During the meeting, some of the herders confirmed that they brought the soldiers that escorted them while grazing their herds on the people’s lands, a development that the CP himself strongly condemned.

“We hereby call on the military authority to identify, investigate and prosecute the suspected soldiers for the alleged connivance and involvement in the attacks on the villagers by the Fulani herdsmen.”

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