OGUN, Nigeria – The State residents have cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari, saying they were being killed by Fulani herdsmen and officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
They called on the President to put an end to incessant killings and youths unemployment.
At a town hall meeting organised by the Minister for Mines and Steels Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, in Ijebu-Ode, Ilaro and Abeokuta on Friday, youths, women and elders of Ogun State bared their minds on ways to prevent a repeat of the recent #EndSARS protest.
While declaring the meetings open, Adegbite told the people that President Buhari had sent his appointees back to their home states to feel the pulse of Nigerians in order to forestall a repeat of youths restiveness that could give birth to carnage, killings, arson and breakdown of law and order.
In their reactions, the people lamented the spate of killings in Ogun State, especially in the border communities, blaming unemployment for the recent crisis.
Ogun indigenes also decried the deplorable conditions of federal roads in the state, while adding that the people are hungry as a result of border closure.
In his words, Adebiyi Adeyinka Tajudeen from Yewa South said customs officers have been killing Ogun people like goats, all in the name of chasing suspected smugglers.
Tajudeen alleged that many have been killed this year by the customs officers, begging the President to stop NCS officers from shooting within the communities if they fail to seize contraband at the borders.
Corroborating Tajudeen’s submission, one Hunponu Olamikan explained that Fulani herdsmen have made farming unattractive to the people of the Gateway State.
According to Olamilekan, herdsmen have continued to destroy farms as their cows graze on crops.
“After destroying our crops, we have no right to talk. If we talk, these Fulani herdsmen will kill us like goats. Recently, they killed a father, his wife and three children in Oja-Odan, Yewa North. This is getting too much and nobody is doing anything about it,” Olamilekan lamented.
In his words, the former Chairman of Imeko-Afon Local Government, Hon. Tosin Adeluyi, called on the Federal Government to see to the development of border areas, saying the agency put in charge of that responsibility has not been doing anything in Ogun State.
Adeluyi said unemployment is the root cause of all social vices, and charged governments at all levels to keep the youths off the streets by getting them gainfully employed.
Responding, the Minister assured the people that their requests would get to the President.
Adegbite said government would not rest until the excesses of customs officers in Ogun and Nigeria in general are addressed.
According to him, officers of the NCS need to be sensitised, stressing that “it is far better for a smuggler to escape than to kill an innocent soul.”
He revealed that the population of the nation is growing faster than the nation’s revenue, urging all Nigerians to be productive.