Protest Rocks  Ekiti Community Over  Killing of Farmer by Suspected Herdsmen

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Pix: Crowd at rally at Gani Fawehimi Park Ojota Lagos, During the 2nd day, Nationwide Peaceful Protest, On Subsidy remover by Fed Govt of Nigeria , Organised by Nigeria Labour Congress, in Lagos. Photo: Joe Akintola, Photo Editor

By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

The people of Ayegbaju Ekiti, Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, on Thursday  evening protested over  alleged  killing of a farmer, Elijah Ogor by suspected Fulani herdsman.

Ogor, who is in his 30s and hailed from Benue  State, was killed inside his farm located  between Ayegbaju and Ido Ekiti  on Wednesday after  his farm was allegedly destroyed by cattle .

The protesters blocked Ifaki-Ayegbaju and Ayegbaju-Oye road  and prevented  movements of vehicles for over an hour in and out of the town.

One of the protesters, who identified himself as Adeleye, said the victim was  shot  by suspected herder at the back  and 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 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 lamented.

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 and combed  Ayegbaju-Ido-Iludun expansive farmland  and arrested one Umar Abubakar Sanda , in connection with the death.

Addressing 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 destroy 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 called for confirmation, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command. DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, said a suspect had 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