Fulani Herdsmen Invade Council Secretariat In Ondo, Chase Away Workers

About 30 cattle herders on Tuesday reportedly invaded the secretariat of Akure South local government, Akure, Ondo state capital.

The invasion followed a clash between one of the council workers, Simon Johnson, and the herdsmen.

Three persons sustained injuries in the clash and were immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Activities at the Council were paralysed as workers fled their respective offices and vowed not to return until their safety was guaranteed.

Prospective couples who came to the Council Registry for their marriages also rushed out of the secretariat to avoid being caught in the crisis.

The State Commissioner of Police, Gbenga Adeyanju, promptly led men of his command to the secretariat to prevent the situation from getting escalated.

Men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were also on ground to curtail the situation.

It was learnt that trouble started when Johnson, who works with the Agriculture Department of the council, tried to prevent the herders from gracing their cattle on his vegetable farm at the back of the Local Government Secretariat.

A source who also has a farm around the place, said the herdsmen grazed on the large expanse of the land and had been disturbing them particularly during the dry season.

“We were both working on the farm when Johnson challenged an underage herder who led cattle to the farm.

“Johnson asked the boy to lead the cattle out of his farm. But the boy stood there pretending as if he didn’t hear the instruction.

“Johnson pushed the boy. He shouted and called his master. The master came and hit Johnson with his rod.

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“The master immediately brought out his cutlass and wanted to harm Johnson. But Johnson, who was also with his cutlass, defended himself.

“The two of them sustained injuries. Johnson ran to the Council Secretariat when other herdsmen were pursuing him.

“The cutlass-wielding herdsmen rushed to the Council. When the workers saw what was happening, they ran out of their offices for safety,” the source said.

State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Bosede Daramola, condemned the invasion, saying the workers could not abandon their offices for herdsmen.

Daramola, who rushed out of a meeting when she was informed of the incident, said the workers who were engaging in small farming to augment their income should also be protected.

Caretaker Chairman of the Council, Margaret Atere, described the situation as fearful, calling for a prompt security action.

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