A violent clash in Ondo State, Southwest Nigeria, has left two persons dead, operatives of the Southwest Security Network, Amotekun Corps, said on Friday.
The incident occurred on Thursday when Amotekun officers clashed with herdsmen at Sanusi village, Owo Local Government Area of the state.
Adebayo Ayeni, the Corps’ spokesperson, said the security outfit heeded a distress call from the conflict scene about an initial scuffle between farmers and the herders who had been accused of kidnappings and killings.
The alleged herdsmen became aggressive when the Amotekun operatives got to the scene, leading to the death of a farmer and a member of the vigilante group, Ayeni said.
“The security outfits in conjunction with the police, the army, and other security agencies in the state, however, smoked them out of the forest, after it was discovered that the bandits had killed a farmer and a member of the vigilante group in the area.”
“They also went to the village where an Amotekun vehicle was parked and set it ablaze,” the statement read in part.
According to the security network, its operational motorcycles and a vehicle were razed down by the assailants.
Investigation Ongoing – Police
The Police in Ondo State said it had begun an investigation into the incident.
When contacted on the telephone, Tee-Leo Ikoro, the state police spokesperson, told HumAngle that the police had sent its personnel to the conflict area to restore normalcy.
“It is so unfortunate we lost two persons in the incident. We have sent our men to the area to maintain peace again as we begin [an] investigation on the matter,” Ikoro told HumAngle.
Across Nigeria, farmers and cattle herders often clash over access to land grazing rights. Since 2013, violence between them has escalated to thousands of casualties.
With many expressing concerns about President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of the situation, governors of southwestern states last year inaugurated the indigenous security outfit, Amotekun Security Network, to address security challenges facing the region.
The latest attack comes on the heels of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s call for the herders to leave the state’s forest reserves used for committing crimes.
Recently, a meeting was held in the state involving Southwest governors, security chiefs, and officials of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria where open grazing was banned in the region.
Days after this, the Amotekun operatives arrested two armed herdsmen and 200 cows in the state.
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