By: Shabach Bako
Tragedy strikes just as four persons were allegedly killed, while one escaped death as Five men were abducted at Oke Irinja, Owode Yewa, Ogun State.
The victims, identified as Adamu Saliu, Aliu Babuga, Dairu Salihu, and Mohammed Abdulai, all herders, were reportedly taken into a bush in the community. Their lifeless bodies, with ropes tied around their necks, were later discovered along Sokoto Road in Ilobi via Owode Yewa.
Saliu Amodu an eyewitness, who claimed to be a relative of the victims, the abductees were with their cattle in the bush when unknown individuals lured them with the false pretense that a local chief wanted to meet them. Believing this, the five entered a vehicle provided by the strangers, only to meet a tragic end.
Amodu reported the incident to the Owode Yewa Divisional Police Headquarters, and the police have since initiated an investigation. The Police Public Relations Officer, Omolola Odutola, confirmed the incident, stating that autopsies on the corpses were underway at the General Hospital in Ilaro. While the motive behind the attack remains unclear, the police mentioned that no cattle were stolen, and no possessions were taken from the victims.
Although the Ogun State police command has not yet determined the cause of the attack, tensions have reportedly risen in Ogun West due to allegations of herders damaging farms and water sources through open grazing. One community, Aworo in Yewa North Local Government Area, even expelled herdsmen over similar accusations, resulting in loss of lives and property. Despite the police distancing the incident from cattle rustling, there is an increase in complaints related to “poddy dodgers,” prompting authorities to advise communities to engage with herders through their Sariki, marking and documenting their cattle to discourage rustling.