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Residents of Ijagba, Imoru, Arimogija in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo state are no longer at ease following a resurging attacks by herdsmen in the area.

They are complaining that their lives and their farms are being threatened by herders.

They have also called on the state government to help curtail the activities of the marauding herdsmen alleged to be terrorizing the communities for over two weeks.

Although a case of killing has not been established against the herdsmen, farmers have confirmed the destruction of farmlands.

This is coming despite the existence of a law signed last year, banning open grazing of cattle in Ondo State.

The state government had also .urged the herders to vacate the forest reserves as they had become hideouts for criminal elements among the herders.

The law also created designated areas for grazing, and defines penalties for offenders.

Although there appeared to compliance when the law came into effect, recent developments showed that the herders had started to returning and constituting nuisance.

Members of Imoru community also accused the herders of kidnapping for ransom and had scared the farmers away from their food farms.

“They moved into a house and kidnapped a young girl just hours after they released a man from their captive after collecting ransom which was negotiated from ten million naira to one million naira,” One of the residents who feared to be named, said.

“This is affecting their means of livelihood which is farming and are leaving the community to other safer places.”

When contacted, Police spokesperson in Ondo state, Funmilayo Odunlami Omisanya said the command has not been briefed about the incident.

She however assured men of the force will be mobilised to the communities to ascertain the true nature of happenings

But the traditional ruler of Imoru town, Rotimi Obamuwagun, affirmed the incessant invasion of the criminal herdsmen, infiltrating the community through a forest reserve between Ondo and Edo State.

He however noted government’s efforts at repelling the bandits.

“It is true, the criminals are into our communities ferociously,” the monarch said.

” If not for the state government intervening in the matter, the criminals would have sacked all the communities here and sent everyone away from their homes.

“But we thank the government for intervening.”

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Security Matters, Jimoh Dojumo, said those attacking the communities and villages were not from Ondo State but from the neighbouring state of Edo.

He said the state government had already taken action against them.

He explained that the criminals usually entered the state through footpath into the communities and villages, and leave through the same path to their state after committing the crime.

“They (herdsmen) have been creating problems for us but our territory is secured with the presence of Amotekun men, but I can assure you that the activities of these criminals will soon be checked,” said Mr Dojumo.

“But we are not relenting in our efforts to flush out criminal elements from the state to ensure security of lives and property of our people.”

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