Protesters block highway in Ekiti over killing of farmer by herdsman

Fulani Herdsmen
Fulani Herdsmen

The Residents of Ayegbaju Ekiti, Oye local government area of Ekiti State, on Thursday evening staged a protest to vent anger over the alleged killing of a farmer by suspected herdsman.

Elijah Ogor, 30’s, who hailed from Benue State, was killed on his farmland situated between Ayegbaju and Ido Ekiti on Wednesday after his farm was allegedly invaded and destroyed by the herdsman with cattle.

The protesters barricaded Ifaki-Ayegbaju and Ayegbaju-Oye road with vehicular movements restricted for over an hour.

According to one of the protesters, Adeleye who spoke with The Nation, said the victim was shot dead by suspected herder at the back and soaked in blood.

“All we want is justice. How could any cattle rearer go to someone’s farm to destroy it and still went ahead to kill him? This is unjust and callous.

“This issue must be investigated thoroughly and whoever was involved should be prosecuted accordingly”, he said.

Immediately the death was reported through the Seriki Fulani in Ekiti, Alhaji Abashe Adamu, the task force of Gan-Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN), Ekiti chapter , swung into action.

The task force searched thoroughly the expansive Ayegbaju-Ido-Iludun farmland and apprehended one Umar Abubakar Sanda, in connection with the death.

While speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti on Sanda’s arrest, GAFDAN’S Secretary in Ekiti, Hon. Toyin Ibrahim, said: “We got the information from Seriki Fulani that a farmer was killed in Ayegbaju . Our task force , comprising virtually all the ethnic groups in Nigeria moved into that bush and arrested Umar Sanda.

“At the point, we saw him, he was holding a rifle and with live cartridge inside. We queried the rationale behind the carrying of firearm which contravened Ekiti State Anti-Grazing Law, but he gave no reason. He was just raising issues that would make him look innocent.

“The reason why we suspected him was that, two other people were with the deceased when he was shot, they escaped from the scene and the description they gave showed that the suspect was involved.

“As law-abiding group, we immediately took Sanda to the police station at Ido Ekiti where he was detained. Part of our mandate in GAFDAN is to arrest cattle rustlers and errant herdsmen, who destroyed farmlands or commit other offences”.

When called for confirmation, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command. DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said a suspect has been arrested in connection with the crime.

“We learnt a farmer was killed inside the farm and he had been apprehended and brought to the police. He is presently being detained in our custody and once we conclude investigation, we shall charge him to court”, he added.

The GAFDAN Boss appealed to the government to empower the group to be able to carry out the mandate of ensuring peaceful coexistence between farmers and Fulani herders.

He said the group would also support the security agencies in all forms to decimate indiscriminate killings by knight-errant Fulani herdsmen.

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