Kogi Group to President Tinubu: ‘Armed Herders Formed Parallel Govt, Collecting Taxes from Kogi Farmers

The Uk’Omu Igala Organization (UIO) has asked President Bola Tinubu to send security operatives to Omala and Dekina LGAs of Kogi state to protect residents from armed herders.

In a statement on Friday signed by David Abutu, its national leader, and Suleiman Akpa, national director of mobilisation, the socio-cultural organisation said armed herders have formed a parallel government in Kogi East area of the state, and collecting taxes from farmers.

The Uk’Omu Igala Organization said the assailants invaded communities, killed farmers, and destroyed farmlands and villages.

“In the last one month, bandits who invaded our villages in the name of herding, have attacked peaceful farmers, killed several persons, destroyed villages, and rendered thousands of persons homeless in Omala and Dekina Local Government Areas of Kogi State,” the statement reads.

“Our people have no weapons to fight these stranger groups who are armed to the teeth. They are lawless and brutal. They have made Igalaland hell on earth for many peasant farmers whose only means of livelihood is farming. Apart from murdering our people and destroying their farms, the bandits have formed a parallel government in Kogi State, collecting taxes from farmers and fishermen before allowing them to access their lands and ponds for fishing.

“This is totally unacceptable. Our people have surrendered their security to the Federal Government of Nigeria; they deserve to be protected from criminals. We call on the Federal Government to urgently send in security forces to sack these strange killer-herders from Omala and Dekina Local Government Areas.

“The Kogi State Government has not lifted a finger to help traumatized people of Omala and Dekina LGAs, auspiciously as a hangover from the 2023 governorship elections. No government hands its people to killers.

“The people of Kogi East have rejected the deadly agreement with the killers, which invariably subjugates the people to the killer-herders. These bandits are truce-breakers; they have never kept any agreement in Nigeria. We, as an organization, reject any agreement with those who kill our peace-loving people because there are no security agencies to protect our people from the heavily armed marauding herders.

“We, therefore, call on President Tinubu to send in the military to chase away the killers who have found the peace-loving people of Kogi East as easy prey. The Kogi State Government is not doing anything to help the people. The president should prevail on Governor Ododo to visit the displaced people and provide shelter and succour for them urgently.”

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