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Hunters, Herdsmen May Clash in Oyo Over Missing 500 Cows

A crisis looms at the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State, except urgent steps are taken to strengthen ties between some Fulani herdsmen and the traditional hunters of the area over about 500 missing cows belonging to the Fulani.This is as the hunters of the area warned the Fulani herdsmen that they would not tolerate any conduct that may lead to the breakdown of law and order.

The Fulani on their part accused their host communities of exhibiting lackadaisical attitude to their plight. About 500 cows belonging to the itinerant Fulani herdsmen were said to have gone missing recently in the Oke-Ogun area of the state, with the owners accusing people of the communities in the area of stealing their live stocks.

It was gathered by The Guardian that the Fulani were said to have closed down all meat markets in the area as a form of retributive action against their hosts, who in turn issued a warning to the herdsmen not to take the laws into their hands, but rather conduct themselves within the ambits of the law, while a solution is being sought.Chairman of the Soludero Hunters Association, Chief Oladejo Oladapo and the President of the association, Chief Nureni Ajijola Idris have advised the Fulani socio-cultural organization, Jamu Nati Fulbe Association of Nigeria not to resort to violence as the state government and police are making arrangement to resolve the disappearance of their cows.

He gave the advice while speaking with newsmen in Ibadan at the weekend. According to the Head Hunter, it would be helpful for the herdsmen to toe the path of peace as violence would only escalate the matter.

National Chairman of the Fulani herdsmen, Alhaji Saliu Kadir, had, a fortnight ago, lamented that since the report of the sudden disappearance of their cattle was made, the committee that was set up to address the issue had been too lackadaisical towards the plight of those affected by the massive loss.

As a first step to recovering their cows, the herdsmen had ordered closure of all their cattle markets in Ibarapa area.

Reacting to the incident, Oladapo said: “We are aware of what Fulani herdsmen are doing in Oke-Ogun and Ibarapa areas of Oyo State. We have to make rituals so that their killing instincts will not gain ground in Oyo as they do in other places.

There is nothing like prayers. We will pray and make rituals in all corners of the state so that evil will not happen to us. Evil will not happen. Rituals help in matters of this nature”.

Oladapo however, warned the herdsmen not to foment trouble of any kind but rather allow the law to take its course, so that the issue can be resolved peacefully.

“If they want to be violent, we will be prepared for them and they would not overcome us. Hunters are to maintain peace in society and we will live up to this responsibility. If there is any hostility somewhere, we the hunters have the capability to confront it and ward it off.

Responding, Nureni Idris, said: “We are calling on all Fulani herdsmen to comport themselves and not disturb the peace of Oyo State. If they don’t, we will send our hunters into all areas to check their excesses.

“We cannot be here and allow them to do harm to our people. We will not allow it. Our fathers are blessed with charms and they have transferred it to us. We know what we can do to arrest whoever ruptures the peace of the state and hand him over to the law enforcement agents,” he cautioned.


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