Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Hoodlums suspected to be herdsmen, yesterday, stormed the secretariat of Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State and threatened to kill some workers.
The herdsmen, numbering over 30, reportedly stormed the council secretariat in the afternoon and vandalised some valuables belonging to the staff of the local government.
Daily Sun was reliably informed that the herdsmen brandished various weapons, including cutlasses, daggers, charms and axes.
The siege by the herders disrupted official activities at the council offices, including marriage ceremonies going on at the registry.
Some staffers of the council were driven out of their offices one by one by the herders, who allegedly threatened to kill anyone who looked into their eyes.
Sources said trouble started when a worker at the council warned a herder to take his cattle away from the council’s agriculture department vegetable farm, located behind the secretariat.
The herder, a boy of about eight years, reportedly ignored the warning and allowed the cows to graze on the vegetable cultivated there. The local government worker allegedly moved towards the boy and, while attempting to make him herd the cows out of the farm, the boy fell down.
It was gathered that an older herder, suspected to be the father of the boy, who was coming behind and saw what transpired pulled out a sword and confronted the local government worker.
It was learnt that the council worker, who also had a cutlass in his hand, stood up to the herdsman. While both men were flexing muscles with their weapons, the herder was injured. The injured herdsman was said to have mobilised over 30 of his colleagues, who stormed the secretariat and sacked workers from their offices.
The herdsmen also went to the secretariat’s registry and sent away couples that were holding marriage ceremonies.
Caretaker chairman of Akure South Local Government, Mrs. Margaret Atere, described the situation as fearful and called for prompt security measures.
Daily Sun gathered that workers in the council fled their offices and vowed not to return until their security was guaranteed.
Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju, who led his men to the secretariat to assess the situation, said normalcy had returned to the area.