A woman, identified as Mrs. Bolatito Balogun, has been confirmed dead, while a large number of people were reported missing after policemenfired at protesting women in Oro-Ago community in the Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Our correspondent gathered on Sunday that the unidentified policemen were the four-man police team sent from the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja, to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the clashes between Fulani herdsmen, popularly called the Bororos, and the indigenes of the community.
It was gathered that trouble started when the police team, led by an inspector, identified simply as Femi, on Friday came to the community in a Toyota Hummer bus, marked MA 892 EKY, and two Hilux patrol vans from the Divisional Police Division, Omu-Aran, and the Area Command headquarters.
The President, Oro-Ago Development Union, Chief Richard Olushola, said the policemen were fully armed.
He added that they stormed the community as early as 7am on Friday and allegedly started indiscriminate shooting and arrest of the community members.
He said, “The action of the policemen was contrary to information available to the monarch of the community, Oba Johnson Dada, that the policemen were in the community on a peace mission and to visit places where previous clashes had occurred.
“Sadly, the purported peace mission turned bloody as the police released live bullets on women, who were peacefully protesting the arrests of their men.
“In the ensuing confusion, Mrs. Bolatito Balogun was killed, while one Mrs. Tope Ologemo was injured and rushed to the hospital.
“The ugly incident led to our people running helter-skelter and scampering for safety. The police went away with at least five of our men. Some other people are still missing after the incident and their whereabouts still unknown.
“The names of the five we can identify are Oladele Ponle, Chief Asanlu Salawu, Karimu Aremu, Rasaki Illa and Tunde Abolaji.”
He accused the police of having sympathy for the Bororos, adding that since after the incident, Oro-Ago people had been living in fear.
He added that the Fulani herdsmen had allegedly been having a field day since the incident as their cattle mercilessly destroyed farmlands of the indigenes.
One of the farmers allegedly manhandled by the Bororos, Mr. Karimu Aremu, decried the alleged torture and inhuman treatment meted to him by the herdsmen. He said he survived being killed by the whiskers.
But the Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ajayi Okesanmi, said the clashes between the Bororos and the community members were being investigated.
He said the Force CID had taken over the investigation of the matter.
He, however, confirmed the death of Balogun, saying the deceased’s autopsy report would reveal the cause of her death.
Okesanmi said, “The case was previously being investigated by the Kwara State Police Command. But the Force CID requested that the matter be transferred to Abuja for further investigation and we did that. Since they have taken over the case from us, they have every authority to go anywhere in this country to get to the root of the entire matter.”
Photo Credit: SUCCESS NWOGU