Fulani herders disappear with 300 cows at private farm in Jabata, Ogbomoso leaving tales of woes

Fulani herders disappear with 300 cows at private farm in Jabata, Ogbomoso leaving tales of woes
Ayoola TAIWO
Fulani herders managing over 300 cattle at a private integrated farm (name withheld) in Jabata area, Surulere local government of Oyo state, have reportedly disappeared with the cows leaving owners of the farm and other individuals who had cattle in the herd, in shock and lamentations.
The manager of the farm (name withheld) told ogbomosoinsightonline.com Wednesday that the herders, two of them, had been in charge of rearing the animals for several years with the herd containing over 300 cattle “however recently, they started playing hanky-panky,” the manager said.
According to him, “Our farm, as at the last count, had twelve cattle remaining in his care, and he’s a salaried staffer. Then, there is another farm located at Elere, which had 52 animals under the herders’ care. About two months ago, we requested to see the cattle but the head herder, Abubakar, said they had been taken for grazing in Kogi state.
‘’This is inexplicable as we are in the rainy season and we have enough lush pasture around, so, why take the animals to Kogi for grazing? We told him to call back his assistants to return the cattle. But he began to make various excuses. About two weeks ago, he eventually showed us some cows which he said were ours.
“We saw twelve cows and a calf which he informed was ours too. Then, last week Monday, together with the manager of the farm at Elere, we went to see the cows again but we discovered they were different animals entirely, smaller in size.
“We asked why? But he was just perambulating. Meanwhile, we had decided to retrieve the cattle from him. We saw 83 cattle altogether, 13 belonging to us and 67 belonging to the farm at Elere out of them. The herd of course should have been containing more animals because of the length of time the animals had been with him,
“We went with men of the Agro Rangers and some other Fulani herders to help us in herding the animals back to our farm but suddenly he bolted, fleeing into the bush. We didn’t pursue him but we soon knew why he fled.

Some of the recovered cows

“As we were moving the animals back people started coming out, some others were calling on phone – school teachers, lecturers, all manner of people – that they also left cows with Abubakar to manage. When we added the number of cattle people claimed they put in his care without our knowledge the figure was up to 300.

“People bombarded us with claims of having varying numbers of cows with the herders and that became an issue. Someone claimed he had 35 cows with the Fulani men, another 47, another 4, another 20 and so on that when we added everything together the number was not less than 300. The matter was eventually reported at the police station.”
This claim was corroborated by the manager of the farm at Elere, who also did not want his name in print.
According to him, “We gave Abubakar 52 cows two years ago with the knowledge of his bosses at the said private farm in Jabata and we gave him salary; we continued to monitor the situation. Three months ago we came around again but he told us the animals had been taken to Kogi state for grazing which we found suspicious after all it’s rainy reason when there is abundant grazing land here.
“We demanded they be returned and we continued to pester him. Eventually he called us they were back and we went there to discover the animals were not in good conditions. In the end we decided to recover our cows which were now 67. We went to his settlement for the purpose, with the representatives of the other farm but he ran away during discussion,” he said inter-alia.
Another victim, Alhaji Bakare Moshood, told ogbomosoinsightonline.com that aside giving the herders seven cows to tend he gave them a sum of N220, 000 (two hundred and twenty thousand naira) for further trading in cows.”
The matter became rancorous but in the end “a sense of fairness” reigned as the 83 cows recovered were subjected to pro-rata distribution.
Ajala Rahman lamented, “I had 31 cows with Abubakar but they gave me 6.”
Another, Mr. Sunday Adetutu, an Ajaawa, Ogo-Oluwa local government resident, who had 4 cows (which he put at two females, two males) with the herders since about 10 years ago could only receive 2 rams.
Mr. Olanrewaju Adeola who said he had five cows received one in compensation.
In all, 14 people shared the 83 cattle.
The chairman of Myetti Allah in Surulere local government, who refused to give his name, when asked for comment simply retorted, “It is business went sour. The victims got involved in business and it went awry. We have appealed to them.”

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