Security

Some Yoruba monarchs selling lands to foreign herdsmen – Group alleges

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Yoruba Socio-Cultural Association, a youth group from South-West has accused an Oba in the Oke Ogun region of Oyo state of giving land to foreign herdsmen and collecting cows in return.

Speaking to The Punch in an interview, the National Coordinator of the group, Mr Olawale Hammed, said “Some of these traditional rulers have lost their respect and they don’t care what happens to their subjects.”

On the same issue, a former Director, Directorate of Military Intelligence, Col. Kunle Toogun (retd.), also said a monarch in Oke Ogun brought four trucksloads of herdsmen to his domain about three months ago.

Toogun, who is the chairman of Oke Ogun Security Committee, said, “These people (monarchs) took money from the Bororo (foreign herdsmen) and asked them to come to their domains. These people are not Nigerians. The native Fulani people have their settlements around and they don’t graze their cattle in any farm.

“A particular Oba sold the land of another community to these foreign herdsmen and it became a crisis. I met the Chairman of the Atisbo Local Government Area of Oyo State and told him that this particular monarch must stop the nonsense.

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“It was made clear to all the obas and chiefs in Oke Ogun not to harbour or sell land to these Bororos. But there is a stubborn and recalcitrant baale (chief) in Oke Ogun that is not only harbouring Bororos but also selling land to them.”

The retired military officer stated that the traditional ruler allowed a large number of foreign herdsmen to settle in 10 locations within Atisbo LGA two months ago.

However, one of the traditional rulers in Ogun State, the Ooye of Iwoye-Ketu, Oba Joel Ademola, explained that “Our forefathers gave some land to Fulani herdsmen but not in exchange for anything like cows or other items. It was done to boost the economy of our region.

“We also know that some of them rent houses in the town. But, what we observed this time, is that some of them will just come and take over our forests. Nobody gave them the forests.”

On his part, the Iwoye-Ketu youth leader, Chief Felix Dopemu, said that some Fulani herdsmen bought land from fraudulent indigenes.

He said “These fraudsters sell the government forest reserve to the Fulani herdsmen who settled down in the area.”

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