Many victims of the criminal Fulani herders in Ogun communities that have fled to the Benin Republic for refuge are afraid to come back, SaharaReporters has learnt.
A reliable source in one of the ravaged communities, Eggua in Yewa North Local Government Area, revealed this to SaharaReporters on Monday.
Some of the areas where many people lost their lives to the murderous herders include Asa, Eggua, Ayetoro, Igbogila, and Imeko in Ogun State.
While Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has promised to improve the security and also compensate the affected farmers with palliatives in the forms of cash and food materials, the source who spoke to SaharaReporters said those who escaped to the neighbouring Benin Republic are reluctant to return to Nigeria and their communities.
The source said, “We are farmers. Farming is what we do, so those that escaped to the Benin Republic do not wish to come back because there is virtually nothing to come and do.
"Only a few have been coming after those of us at home persuaded them to do so. We are the ones contacting them to see if they can come back home based on the promise of Governor Abiodun to improve things.
“The governor has promised to beef up security in the affected areas but insecurity has not made many to decide whether to come or not."
He also noted that Ogun State Government had begun the distribution of foodstuffs to the people of the area, but said cash donations had not started yet.
“They have been distributing palliatives for people; it was done on Saturday and Sunday. The state government is giving garri, rice, noodles, and spaghetti. The governor has also promised to give cash but we are still expecting that,” the source said.
The Chairman, Subcommittee on Palliatives in the state, who is also the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Olaolu Olabimtan, disclosed on February 21, that the committee was in the troubled communities to provide palliatives as promised by the governor, describing the gesture as a sign of better things to come.
“The governor made a promise that relief materials by way of food items and palliatives will be given to the people affected by the conflict and here we are on behalf of the governor to deliver the first consignment of these relief materials.
“Of course, you can be sure that it is a sign of better things to come. As I said, this is the first consignment, a lot more will still becoming.
“Also, there will be an issue of ascertaining the cost - what has been lost and how much is the value of what we have been lost, with a view to giving further relief, because what has been lost is not the only source of livelihood, people have lost their homes and businesses,” Olambitan said.