Four people were killed, and one was reported to have fled, when bandits abducted five herders in Oke Irinja, Owode Yewa, Ogun State.
According to reports, Adamu Saliu, 21, Aliu Babuga, 24, Dairu Salihu, 32, and Mohammed Abdulai, 35, were among the casualties of Saturday’s attack.
It was reported that the four herders were abducted in a bush in the community.
According to a police source, the bodies of the slain herders were discovered in a thicket along Sokoto Road in Ilobi via Owode Yewa, with ropes tied around their necks.
Saliu Amodu, an eyewitness who claimed to be the victims’ brother, told the Owode Yewa Divisional Police Headquarters that the five abductees were in a bush with their cattle when some unknown men arrived in a vehicle that a certain community Baale wanted to see them in.
Despite the fact that there was no such call from anyone, it was gathered that Amodu told the police that the five of them were reported to have entered the abovementioned vehicle and that the man who drove the vehicle to the place and others entered and then drove away.
“They were my brothers. They were with their cows in the bush when some men brought a vehicle that Baale wanted to see them in. The five of them immediately followed the men and entered the vehicle.
“They were taken to Sokoto Road, Ilobi, where the dead bodies of four out of the five that left the bush were found,” Amodu was quoted as having told the police.
Omolola Odutola, the Police Public Relations Officer, confirmed the event to journalists on Sunday, stressing that the police had launched an investigation to determine the facts surrounding the incident.
“The corpses have been taken to the General Hospital in Ilaro for autopsy. We are investigating the incident to unravel the reasons behind it. No cow was stolen. And nothing was taken from them,” the state police spokesperson said.
While the state police command was still investigating the cause of Saturday’s incident, some communities in the region accused herders in Ogun West of ruining their farmland and water sources by grazing cows in the open.
One of the communities is Aworo in Yewa North Local Government Area, which allegedly chased several herders from their village over a similar claim. According to reports, lives and property were lost during the conflict.
Though the police maintained the incident was not related to suspected rustlers, they told reporters that reports about “poddy dodgers” had increased.
The police added, “More complaints about poddy dodgers. The best thing to do is to call their Sariki to mark their cows, take pictures and videos of their cows, and post on social media that may curb cattle rustling.”