VAM news has learnt that due to the incessant cases of killings and kidnapping across the nation, some residents of Ogun State have decided to take their destiny in their hands by keeping watch over other members of their community.
The people of Oke-Ogbe in Ijebu North Local Government Area of the state appeared not to be waiting for security agents to save them from those they called “killer Fulani herdsmen and kidnappers” ravaging the area.
At the Oke-Ogbe junction of the Isara-Ago Iwoye road, hunters in the community mounted a roadblock where they do ‘stop-and-search’ on all vehicles.
Our correspondent reports that the hunters, armed with dane guns, search each vehicle, including lorries, to ensure none is with arms or any dangerous weapons.
They take time to do a thorough checking on individuals and their bags, all for the security of lives and property.
Our correspondent reports that the hunters perform the tasks without any form of harassment or extortion, even as they enjoy the cooperation of drivers and passengers.
But, the hunters who have volunteered to do the job said they have not gotten any form of support from leaders and stakeholders in the area.
Speaking with DAILY POST, the leader of the local vigilantes, Jaiyeola Jegede, said they might withdraw their services soon for lack of support.
Jegede stated that they took up the responsibility after series of kidnapping and robbery by suspected herdsmen, saying they have the nod of the police and the community king to mount the road block.
“We are doing this for the purpose of security. We want to secure our community. We have the backing of the DPO and the Oba to do this.
“Fulanis are kidnapping people everywhere. They rob on this road. Sometimes by 7 pm, they will be kidnapping and robbing people on this particular road. Many people have been robbed and kidnapped. The same thing happened on Ibadan/Ago Iwoye road, because that road links Mamu. They kidnap people. There are hunters in that are too.
“Last week, people were robbed on this same road. They even took away some. But, before we got there, they had fled into the bush. We combed everywhere till almost dawn, but we didn’t see the herdsmen,” Jegede explained.
On the challenges facing the team, Jegede regretted that members are already contemplating quitting the community service job.
“We are already contemplating leaving this place, we want to quit this work we are doing. Since we have been here, nobody makes any provision for us. We are the ones feeding ourselves. We need motorbikes or vehicles for patrol, from here to Ago Iwoye and Isara Remo, but we didn’t see anything. Nobody is giving us anything; people are only promising without fulfilling it.
“Our plea is that people should support us. But if they don’t, we will withdraw from here anytime soon,” he said.
On whether the dane guns they carry could stand a chance against AK-47-weilding bandits, the hunter retorted, “We know these our dane guns cannot face bandits who are carrying AK-47 rifles. You know we are only using this for hunting. But we are ready for them. This is not to say that we won’t appreciate it if government approves more sophisticated weapons for us, but as we are, there’s nothing we can do. If they (the bandits) attack us with whatever they have, by the grace of God, they can’t get any of us. We will stop them.”
Jegede expressed worry that “countless people have been kidnapped here by the Fulanis.”
He recalled that, “recently we arrested some people here with guns inside their vehicle. They hid the guns under bunches of banana and bags of garri. We also caught thiefs carting away bags of cement and other stolen items.
“Once we apprehend them, we hand them over to the police. We don’t know what the police do with them,” Jegede quipped.
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