By Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
Ayegbaju Ekiti, in Oye Local Government area of Ekiti state was thrown into mourning at the weekend, following the death of a farmer in the community, Elijah Ogor, who was reportedly shot dead by a suspected Fulani herdsman in the community.
As at press time, the cause of the unfortunate incident which also resulted into protest by some youths in the community was still sketchy.
The Hope Metro reliably gathered that on the fateful day, the deceased, Ogor in his 30’s, was allegedly killed inside his farm located between Ayegbaju and Ido Ekiti, after his farm was destroyed by cattle.
The late Ogor, a father of two from Benue state, was said to have challenged the herdsman for destroying his farm, the move which was said to have infuriated the Fulani man, who hurriedly left the scene to his house and later came back with a dane gun, and shot the deceased at his back at close range.
It was further learnt that immediately the death was reported by the Seriki Fulani in Ekiti,
Alhaji Abashe Adamu, the task force of Gan-Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria(GAFDAN), Ekiti state chapter, swung into action and combed Ayegbaju-Ido-Iludun expansive farmland, where one Umar Abubakar Sanda, was arrested in connection with the death.
Few minutes later, the youths of the town staged a peaceful protest in the community, apparently to demand justice on the matter.
The protesters blocked Ifaki-Ayegbaju and Ayegbaju-Oye express road preventing movements of vehicles in and out of the town for over an hour.
One of the protesters, who identified himself as Adeleye , said the victim was shot at the back by a suspected herdsman and that he died in the pool of his blood right on his farm .
“All we want is justice. How could any Fulani cattle rearer go to someone’s farm and destroyed 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 stated.
Addressing journalists in Ado Ekiti at the weekend, 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, 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 a 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 errand herdsmen, who destroyed farmlands or commit other offences”.
Ibrahim appealed to the government to empower the group to be able to carry out the mandate of ensuring harmonious relationship between farmers and Fulani herders.
He said the group would also support the security agencies to reduce senseless killings by errant Fulani herdsmen.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command. DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, confirmed the report of the matter and said a suspect has been arrested with a life cartridge in connection with the crime.
“We learnt a farmer was killed inside the farm and a suspect has 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 said.
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