Police in Ondo State have said they are in a trail of suspected marauders who have repeatedly terrorised Ijagba community in Ose Local Government Area of the state.

This followed a protest by the community leaders who alleged incessant attacks, kidnapping and killings of residents by suspected herdsmen.

The community leaders say communities in the area are now “under siege” and are st the mercy of terrorists.

They said the terror had forced them to cry out to the state government and security agencies for help.

“We are constrain to inform the Ondo state government of the disheartening incident in Ose Local government south axis particularly in Ijagba town,”
Sunday Ogoh, a high chief in the community said on Thursday while speaking with journalists.

“We came here to inform the whole world what is happening in our local government area most especially at Ijagba community, for the past two years we have not been having peace of mind in our community with a lot of kidnapping, killings, burning of our houses, farm lands by these Fulani herdsmen that had been terrorising the community.

“Just three days ago, we lost one of our illustrious son by name Ohiremen Isaac Odeh while the son too, named Solomon Isaac Odeh also attacked on their way to the farm. Apart from that, in that area, we also lost one of our former Chairman Mr. Bola Adelegbe.

“In search for the victims in the bush it was discovered that Mr. Ohiremen Isaac Odeh was killed by the abductors, while his lifeless body was found after trekking son kilometers in the bush.

“In same day, the remains of Mr. Ohiremen Isaac Odeh has been deposited in the mortuary, while a ransom of four hundred thousand naira, (N400,000) was paid to the abductors to release his son.

“It is now imperative, due to the ugly incident to carry out and seek the support of the government and all relevant authorities to protect our lives and properties, which is one of the aims of the government since we can no longer go to the farm or sleep with our two eyes closed.

“This problem is not only limited to Ijagba, these Fulani herdsmen do operate in Imoru, Molege, Arimagija, Ute and Okeluse. That axis there is no security in that areas.

“So we are appealing to the state government that we need; strong military base, Nigerian Army to be specific so that they can mount one or two checkpoint in the area between Ifon, Imoru, Ijagba, Ute and Okeluse in order to reduce the attack of these Fulani herdsmen.

“Now many people cannot go to their farms, and whenever you’re going to the farm, you must be looking both your left and right and front and back because they can attack you at any time with their guns and weapons.

“The area has become the den of terrorists because there is a big forest reserve behind Okeluse, they use the place as their base and whenever they kidnapped people they will ask for ransom and once you cannot give them the ransom within two to three days they will kill you. So we have lost about 20 souls in that area in the last two years.

“We have reported to the state government and the security agencies in the state and the traditional rulers in that communities have held a several meeting but up till now we have not seen any positive responses from the state government.”

Solomon Odeh, the son of one of the victims, confirmed the incident.

“They (herdsmen) use rope to tie me and my father and they said that if our relatives cannot pay the ransom they will kill us,” he said while narrating his ordeal at the hands of the herdsmen.

“They killed my father, while the sum of N400,000 was paid before they released me.”

Reacting to the attacks, the Police Spokesperson in the state, Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya said efforts were underway to arrest the culprits.

“We are aware of the situation in the community and we are on top of the situation with a view to arrest those behind the attacks,” she said.

” I can assure you that with our investigation we will arrest the perpetuators.”

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