Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Facts have emerged as to how suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Tuesday, invaded the secretariat of Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State and threatened to kill workers there.
It was gathered that the herdsmen, numbering over 30, reportedly stormed the council secretariat in the afternoon and vandalised some valuables belonging to the staff of the Council.
Daily Sun was reliably informed that the herdsmen brandished various weapons including cutlasses, knives, charms and axes, among others.
The invasion of the herders disrupted the official activities at the council secretariat along Ilesa Road, in Akure, the state capital, including marriage ceremonies going on at the Council’s Registry.
Some staff of the council were driven out of their offices one by one by the herders who allegedly threatened to kill anyone who looked into their eyes.
Sources said trouble started when a worker in the council warned a herder to take his cattle away from the council’s Agric Department vegetable farm, located behind the secretariat.
The herder, a boy of about eight years, reportedly ignored the warning and allowed the cows to feed on the vegetables in the farm.
It was also gathered that the local government worker reportedly moved to the boy and when attempting to make him direct the cows off the farm, the boy fell down.
It was further said that another older herder, suspected to be the father of the boy, who was coming behind and saw what transpired, pulled out a sword and engaged the local government worker.
It was learnt that the council worker, who also had a cutlass in his hand, engaged the herder and in the ensuing melee, the herder was injured.
The injured Fulani herdsman was said to have mobilised over 30 of his colleagues who stormed the Local Government secretariat and chased out the workers from office.
The herdsmen also reportedly went to the secretariat’s Registry and sent away couples who were holding marriage ceremonies.
Caretaker Chairman of Akure South Local Government Area, Mrs. Margaret Atere, described the situation as ‘fearful’ and called for prompt security action.
It was gathered that workers in the council had fled their respective offices and vowed not to return until their safety could be guaranteed.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju, who led men of his command to the secretariat to assess the situation, said normalcy had returned to the secretariat.