The traditional ruler of Eggua of Yewa North Local Government in Ogun State, Oba Michael Adeleye Dosunmu, has said that the Seriki Fulani in the community, Adamu Olooru, wrote a letter of apology following attacks by killer Fulani herdsmen in 2015.
He said the letter was one of the several apologies made by the Fulani settlers in the community to show remorse for the atrocities perpetrated by their nomadic counterparts.
He however added that despite the apologies, the killing of people in the community and destruction of their farms did not stop.
Dosunmu told SaharaReporters on Monday through his spokesman, Otunba Adeyanju Adegbenro.
For instance, it was learnt that an apology letter signed by Olooru and dated 17th December, 2015, was written after the farm of Oba Dosunmu’s wife was destroyed by cattle.
The Seriki Fulani then wrote a letter of apology, taking responsibility for it.
But residents of the community described the letter as the typical way the Seriki Fulani used to cover up the atrocities of Fulani herdsmen each time there was an attack.
They claimed that the 2015 incident was an attack that was beyond the destruction of the farm.
Olooru’s letter read, “I, the Seriki Fulani of Eggua, Alhaji Adamu Olooru, hereby tender my apology for the damage of Kabiesi Onigua wife’s farm by my cow. Sir, I have agreed for (sic) the settlement between each other for the purpose comply with code of conduct given to me on these issues.
“Sir. I will be very happy if my apology is accepted.”
The traditional ruler said the destruction of farms and kidnapping and killing of residents have worsened since then.
SaharaReporters also sighted various documents showing the efforts the community had made towards resolving the issues, including letters of apology from the Fulani community, Save Our Souls letters, pictures of gruesome killings perpetrated by the suspected Fulani herders, from as far back as 2004.
Earlier in 2004, the Oba’s farm was destroyed by cattle taken there by herdsmen to graze.
Dosunmu, through his Otunba also said the crisis between farmers and herders began as far as back two decades ago.
He however lamented how it got worse as the years went by.
“There are Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Fulani and other tribes in Eggua and we live peacefully here because we are accommodating. I think that’s how it is in the entire country.
“But there is one chaos or the other whenever the Fulani herders move their cattle to our community.
“It has been a yearly affair, which always leads to tension in the community. What we experience here are killing of our people, raping of our wives and daughters and destruction of our farm crops.
“The saddening issue is that the Fulani settlers here that sell cows have apologised several times whenever those criminals attacked, but the problem has not been addressed.”
Another resident of the community, Mr Gbenga Popoola, narrated that their persistent cries to the police and the Nigerian government have yielded no positive result so the issues remain unresolved.
According to him, the atrocities of the murderous nomads have made them slip into penury.
“We have gone for many meetings with no results to show for them,” Popoola lamented.
“Their attacks have turned our land into poverty land because the farmers have run into debts as a result of these persistent attacks from the killer Fulani herdsmen.
“They have created fear among the people. Women cannot go to the streams alone except they are accompanied by men.”
Popoola also talked about the petition written to Federal Anti-Special Robbery Squad in Abuja by suspected Fulani herders against farmers, saying the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has waded into the matter.
“Today, being the 8th of February, we should have been in Abuja now to answer for cases we do not know anything about. The Fulani petitioned SARS in Abuja that we farmers have been distributing weapons to cause unrest in the community.
“If not for the intervention of our governor, you would not be talking to us today because we would have been in Abuja answering questions.
“Governor Abiodun has raised a panel of inquiry to look into the matter, so I believe the police will act on the recommendations of the panel.
“Even our own Oba’s farm was destroyed sometime in 2004, and the former Alake of Egbaland had to commiserate with him,” Popoola added.
While talking about the efforts of the Oba Dosunmu and the entire community to quell the crisis before now, another resident and youth representative, Elijah Olukunle, said the villagers raised money to build a five-bedroomed flat police station in Eggua.
“Some years back, after a series of meetings and consultations, we were told that these killer Fulani herders would be curtailed if we have a divisional police headquarters in Eggua. We pooled resources together to build a five-bedroomed structure as a Divisional Police Headquarters but all to no avail.
“How many police officers are there? I’m not sure they are up to 10,” Olukunle said.
Olooru recently fled the community after the visit of a pan-Oduduwa Republic agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly called Sunday Igboho, to the area.
Following his visit, the house of the Seriki Fulani and a Fulani settlement where cattle were sold, were burnt by some youths.