Pandemonium, however, broke out as herdsmen came chasing away local Government workers in Akure south local government Area in Ondo state on Tuesday (yesterday).
It was learnt that the attack by the herdsmen followed a disagreement with some of the council workers over a vegetable garden at the back of the secretariat.
A source said the herdsmen, who reside a few meters away from the secretariat, took their cattle for grazing in the garden.
Some of the workers told urban express-news online that fight ensued between an agriculture officer of the council, identified as Mr Johnson Simon, and one of the herdsmen, whose cattle allegedly destroyed part of the vegetable garden.
Simeon was allegedly injured with a machete by the herdsmen, while one of the herdsmen was also injured during the fight.
It was gathered that shortly after the fight, the herdsmen mobilized their colleagues and attacked the secretariat, armed with machetes and other weapons.
It took the intervention of the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Gbenga Adeyanju, and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr Pedro Ideba, who deployed their men in the council, to bring the situation under control.
Eyewitness to urban express-news correspondent that cows were eating and destroying the vegetables we planted on the field. As Mr Simon tried to stop them, one of the herdsmen brought out a cutlass and attacked Simon. He (Simon) brought out his own cutlass and they started fighting.
“As I was taking the photographs of how the cows were eating the vegetables, I saw many of the herdsmen coming. They rushed at me with their machetes; I ran to the council premises and they chased me. I fell several times and got injured.”
Another source said, “The herdsmen entered onto our premises and started chasing everybody out; they were armed with cutlasses and really wanted to kill.”
Simon, who was allegedly injured by the herdsmen, was reportedly rushed to a hospital.
CP Adeyanju, who visited the scene, told journalists that the incident was as a result of a disagreement between some workers and the herdsmen.
He said, “The matter will be settled; it was not a serious matter and we are on the ground to ensure that normalcy returns; that is what we are doing.”
Meanwhile, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said President Mohammadu Buhari is in a trance.
Soyinka said he came to his conclusion based on “unforced errors,” adding that the President’s body language had aggravated killings by herdsmen in the country.
The playwright spoke in Lagos on Tuesday at a press conference titled, ‘Nomads and nation: Valentine card or valedictory rites.’
Soyinka, while reacting to a question on the three things he would tell the President if he met him, said, “I will say Mr President you are in a trance.”
He noted that the sooner the President got out of the trance, the better for the nation.
Asked the form of trance the President was in, the respected playwright said, “I don’t know. So many unforced errors; take, for instance, the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf, that was reinstated by the President.
“What is that about? What is going on?”
Recalling that the menace of the killer herdsmen started about eight years ago, he said the current administration’s body language aggravated the situation.
He called on hunters, vigilance and voluntary groups to disarm the killer herdsmen if police refused to check their activities.
Soyinka said, “I am urging voluntary organisations to ask themselves when and how armed herdsmen would be disarmed. They need to ensure that anytime they see armed herdsmen, they report to the nearest police station. But if at some point, the police have not taken action and the armed herdsmen are not disarmed, these voluntary organisations should move into the places and disarm them.
“I mention this deliberately because I don’t want anybody to get the impression that war is being declared. No, no, no. We have not reached that stage and I hope we will not get to that stage.”
He also said Nigeria was in a new form of internal colonialism with the activities of the rampaging herdsmen.
Soyinka urged the police to watch individuals who might be profiting from anarchy.
He said, “I think the police have a responsibility to look at highly placed people in whose interest anarchy can be fostered. We might end up discovering that some of these people – I don’t care whether they are politicians or civil servants – have interest in ensuring that there is chaos from Maiduguri to Lagos.
“We sometimes talk about corruption, but we don’t know how far it can destabilize the polity. When you think of the amount of money that has been stolen in this country…, then you know there are enough illegal funds to destabilise the nation completely.”
Stating that clashes between farmers and herdsmen were not expected, Soyinka decried the way the situation had been handled.
He said, “And also the lies from servants of the public; the cynicism remarks which have been uttered. Can you imagine a minister of defence (Mansur Dan-Ali) opening his mouth to utter obscenities such as, ‘What do you expect the herdsmen to do if the path of their grazing route is blocked?’