By James Sowole
Suspected herdsmen have reportedly killed a member of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Adejuyigbe Daniel, in Iju, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The late OPC member was one of those mobilised to search for a farm owner, Mr. Solomon Akinmeji, who was abducted last Saturday on his farm at Atoka area of the town.
Akinmeji was said to have been abducted on his farm while other people with him escaped.
The farm was located at the border area between Ondo and Ekiti States.
It was gathered that youths of the town mobilised themselves with some members of the OPC and launched a search party last Sunday.
A source said: “However, when our efforts did not yield the desired results, we reported the matter on Monday at the Iju Police Division.
“The report led to the mobilisation of the police and members of the Amotekun security corps to join the search party.
“The two security outfits joined the search team and headed into the forest to rescue the abducted farmer only to be engaged in a gun duel by the herders before they could repel the attack.”
He said the late Daniel was discovered to have been missing. When the roll call was made after the operation, he could not be found.
“After the whole exercise, all search party members assembled but late Daniel was not present, the development made us to intensify more efforts to look for him.
“After much search, Daniel dead body was later found at a place where the local tent allegedly erected by the herders was located with his legs and hands tied and eyes blindfolded.
“Daniel fell out of his search group by moving afar to locate the missing farmer before he was reportedly abducted and shot dead by the herders,” he said.
The source said the farmer, Akinmeji, was still in the kidnapper’s den while the remains of Daniel has been deposited at the morgue of the General Hospital in the town.
The state Police Public Relations Officer,, Mr. Tee Leo Ikoro, who confirmed the incident in a telephone interview, said investigation has commenced in earnest to unravel the killing and the abduction of late Daniel.
However, Ikoro said nobody could identify who killed the late OPC man or the tribe or ethnic group they belong.
“What I can say now is that a farm owner was abducted and a member of the search team was killed,” he stated.
The PPRO further said the state Commissioner of Police has ordered a manhunt for the killer and also search for the farm owner.