Ogun indigenes, under the aegis of Ketu Professionals in Yewa North and Imeko-Afon axis of the State, have demanded N20 million compensation for each life lost as a result of the herdsmen attacks in the area.

The group also charged the government to stop the installation of Sarkin Fulani by traditional rulers in the State, saying the practice was unwholesome and an unhealthy distortion/manipulation of Yoruba culture.

This was contained in a Memorandum submitted by the group to the Hon. Kayode Oladele-led peace committee on farmers-herders clashes, set up by Governor Dapo Abiodun.

According to a copy of the memorandum, the group, in its prayers, requested the committee to take accurate census of victims of herders’ attacks, with a view to compensating them.

“Accordingly, we seek compensation of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty-Million Naira Only) per family of deceased victim.

Compensation of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira Only) per family of maimed or wounded/injured victim; reconstruction of every house demolished or burnt down and commensurate compensation for every farmer whose farm was destroyed.

“All children of any deceased victim of herders’ attack should enjoy government scholarship up to the University level. Any such child who desires to learn a trade should also be sponsored and established upon graduation;

“Government should make the Special security team recently set up for the troubled area a standing one. It should be well equipped and funded. A Standard Operating Procedure should be set up for it to prevent them from becoming instrument of extortion and oppression to our people.

“The State Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs should discourage our Traditional Rulers from installing Seriki of Fulani in the State as the practice is an unwholesome and unhealthy distortion and manipulation of our culture,” they stated.

In the memorandum jointly signed by the Grand Patron, Professor A. I. Asiwaju, Dr Olusegun Olaniyi and Simeon Fakeye, the Ketu indigenes chronicled that Fulani and Bororo herdsmen were accepted into their Iwoye-Ketu communities in Yewa North and Imeko-Afon many years ago, giving them land.

The group explained that some other Fulani/Bororo herders later joined the earlier settlers, saying this marked the beginning of how “murder, rape, arson, destruction of farmlands and crops” became the order of the day, for over 20 years.

While seeking ways of ending the crisis, the Ketu Professionals opined that the State Government had acquired too much land across Ketuland as forest reserves.

They listed the reserves as: Aworo Government Reserve, Eggua Forest Reserve, Ohunbe Government Reserve, Imeko Government Reserve, Iwoye Government Reserve, Oja-Odan Government Reserve and Ijoun Government Reserve; adding that a large expanse of land had also been acquired at Eggua for the Ogun and Lagos States rice plantation project.

The memorandum pointed out that many of the forest reserves were abandoned and undeveloped, stressing that the people have no access to them.

It is the claim of the Ketus that “open grazing by herders on the little available land, coupled with murder, arson and destruction have further driven our people out of the over-cultivated land and impoverished their lives.

“Uncountable number of our people have been killed, maimed, raped, orphaned, widowed etc. over the years with many of them currently living miserably.

“The herders have proven over the years to be deadly and incapable of co-habiting with our people, judging by the woes they have continuously visited on us for over 20 years now; and a court of competent jurisdiction has declared open grazing in the area by herders and their atrocious activities illegal.”

Based on this, the group urged the Ogun State Government, through the peace committee, to declare open grazing unsustainable and accordingly forward a bill to the House of Assembly to proscribe it.

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