Panic Grips Kogi Communities over Death of Two Herdsmen

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By Ibrahim Oyewale

Palpable fears may have enveloped Ogbom community in Yagba East Local Government Area of Kog State over the death of two herdsmen allegedly killed by unknown assistants, while another victim of herdsmen attack is currently receiving treatment at the hospital.

THISDAY gathered that the killings came barely a day after an initial attack on an indigene of Ogbom community by suspected Fulani herdsmen, who inflicted serious injuries on him, losing valuables in the process.

Sources disclosed that remains of the two victims were found in a bush between Imela and Ogbom communities in Yagba East LGA yesterday.

Investigations revealed that last Saturday, an indigene of Ogbom was attacked by suspected Fulani herdsmen, who dispossessed the victim of his cash while returning from Imela to his village, Ogbom.

The victim, identified as Lekan, who suffered severe head injuries from machete cuts, is said to have been moved to the intensive care unit of ECWA Hospital in Egbe, Yagba West LGA.

This, it was learnt, has become more worrisome following the inability to identify the lifeless bodies of the herders by Fulani people in the area which was a subject of controversy, while the cause of the incidents was not known at the time of filing this report.

However, the Department of Security Officer (DSO) in the area, Abimbola Emmanuel Afolabi, told journalists yesterday that although the dead persons were confirmed as herders who also lost three cows killed by their assailants, they were not domiciled in the area, and are not members of the Miyetti Allah in Yagba West and Yagba East LGAs.

The Senior Special Assistants on Security to the state Governor in charge of Yagba West and Yagba East LGAs, Tade Oshaloto and Juwon Abdulwakil respectively, immediately mobilised the joint military taskforce from the two council areas to the scene of the incident and to the palace of the Ologbom of Ogbom, Oba Michael Aiyenigba.

Meanwhile, at a peace parley involving members of Miyetti Allah in the council areas and stakeholders held at the Yagba East LGA secretariat, Isanlu, at the instance of the council bosses, all parties were assured of their resolve to live together in peace while intensifying synergies on community policing in the area in collaboration with the police and the joint military taskforce.

According to Abdulwakil, who chaired the meeting, the peace initiative between the Fulani herdsmen and residents of the two councils was fruitful. He said traditional rulers in the areas were co-signatories to the peace treaty as precautionary measure, adding that any traditional ruler who fails to maintain peace in his domains would be punished.

Similarly, four persons have been arrested in connection with the killings while investigations to the causes of the crisis continued. Afolabi disclosed that the arrests were not an indictment on the arrested persons but will help security agents unravel the causes and perpetrators of the criminal acts.