Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen have reportedly attacked a hunter at Nirowo Forest, along the Benin-Ore express way in Odigbo local government area of Ondo State.
According to reports, some farmers were also shot during the attack and are currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.
Narrating his order during the attack, one of the victims, Sunday Wekoyo, a hunter, who flee the scene of the incident with gunshots wound, stated that he was shot upon sighting the alleged armed herdsmen while checking his traps in the forest.
“I was in the forest to check my traps before a group of the herdsmen numbering about 12 who I initially thought were local vigilante group, ordered me to come closer before they opened fire on me.
”Out of fear, I moved near them, they pointed their guns, that was how I quickly climbed my motorcycle, and in my attempt to flee, they released the bullets on me. I became so weak immediately but managed to walk some distance to a near by camp where I sought assistance,” he said.
Confirming the attack, the leader of the vigilante group in Ore, Olawale Aboyede stated that when he heard about the incident, he mobilized his men to the scene of the attack, but stated the attackers had already left.
“From our finding, we heard that these herdsmen are not from Nigeria, they came from Niger Republic to kidnap, steal, kill and make money in the forest,” he said.
While stating that the attack was not the first time herdsmen would be terrorizing farmers and hunters on farm settlement within the local government, Aboyede narrated how a pastor was kidnapped and later killed last year by those believed to the the alleged bandit.
With the forest sharing boundary with Osun, Oyo and Ogun state, the head of the local security outfit, urged authorities to come to their aid by empowering them to protect the locals through constant patrols on old roads within the expansive forest.