No fewer than three persons were reportedly killed when gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen invaded Molege community in the Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State on Thursday.
The gunmen allegedly attacked the community following the refusal of the residents to allow the herdsmen to graze on their farms.
After the attack, a source narrated that the herdsmen razed the buildings in the community overnight while the villagers fled.
The source said, “The herdsmen in their large number attacked the community in the evening and killed three people. Some hours later in the night, they burnt down the houses in the community.”
Another source said the bandits also attacked and injured some men of the Ondo State Security Network Agency also known Amotekun Corps, who moved to the community, to calm the crisis.
The Commander of the Ondo State Amotekun Corps, Akogun Adetunji Adeleye, said the herdsmen attacked his men while on patrol in the community.
Adeleye said, “While on a routine patrol at Molege, our men were informed that some nearby villages in Molege have been taken over by herdsmen while they burnt down some people’s properties.
“We moved in with three patrol vehicles and took control of the situation in the village. On their way back, some men suspected to be herdsmen suddenly opened fire on our men in an unprovoked attack because Amotekun does not want to start firing people.
“We are trying to find out who they are as investigation is ongoing. We urged the people of the community to come back to their homes as peace has returned to the village.”
Similarly, the Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Oyeyemi Oyediran, in a statement by the Public Relations Officer, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami, said he paid a visit to community on Friday for an on-the-spot assessment to ascertain the level of damage.
The statement, which also confirmed the attack, said the bandits torched many houses.
The statement read, “The CP during his visit to the scene met with the community members, encouraged them, allayed their fears and vowed to arrest and prosecute all those involved in the evil act accordingly.
‘’Oyeyemi immediately deployed men of the Special Squads and PMF personnel to the community to ensure the protection of lives and property in the area.”