By Demola AKINYEMI, Ilorin
Labintan Village in Asa local government,Â Â ofÂ Ilorin, the KwaraÂ state capital is still in shock following the death of a while Zimbabwean farmerÂ Â in the village lastÂ Saturday .
The white farmer James Chisohm died in the village after asking two of his aides toÂ go fetch him water to drink.Â The corpse of farmer was discovered after a two day search party was conducted He was found dead after a two day search.
The police spokesperson in the state DSP Dabo Ezekiel told Saturday VanguardÂ Â that investigation conducted on the decease showedÂ no mark of violence, noÂ cutsÂ Â wereÂ found on him and no foul play was suspected.
He however saidÂ that the deceased corpse has been moved to the state specialist hospital morgue where autopsy will be conducted after which the body will be released to the family for burial.
Meanwhile, Kwara State government was quick to clarify that the dead White Zimbabwean farmer was not among the experts it recruited to pioneer its commercial farming in Shonga shortly after this administration took off.
When Saturday Vanguard visited Labintan last Wednesday, residents in the village were still at a loss about the fate that had befallen them as they wondered why the white man left his country thousands of miles away to die on their own soil. The village head was not available for a chat on the development, there was an un usual quietness as theÂ villagers shiedÂ away from talking to the press.
Eventually,Â Â a man in his mid thirties who simply identify himself as Yakubu spoke briefly on the development in an interview.According to him “I used to see the Oyibo man around here, in fact I saw him on that fateful day hale and hearty with his workers, so I was surprised to hear that he is dead, this life I donâ€™t understandâ€™â€™.
Asked whether he suspectedÂ any foul play,â€™â€™I donâ€™t think so,everybody here is shocked, and we are very sad about this development, that our village is being talked about in this manner .we know that a white man anywhere will bring development, so we are happy seeing them in our village.IÂ tell you we are not happy that this man left his country, to come and die on our own soilâ€™â€™.
Mr James Chisohm ,Â who was mysteriously found dead beside the stream in Labintan village, via Bakase in Asa local government area of the state last weekend SaturdayÂ Vanguard reliably gatheredÂ had shortlyÂ before his deathÂ Â sent his boys to get himÂ drinkable water around the area.
On their return, Saturday Vanguard gathered that the boys could not locate the 63-year old man, a development thatÂ prompted the setting up of a search party to look for him.
The search which started on Friday continued on Saturday, resulting in the eventual discovery of the deceasedâ€™s corpse in the said village.
Kwara State Police CommandÂ however confirmed the development. SpeakingÂ in an interview with Saturday VanguardÂ the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Dabo Ezekiel,in a statement said, â€œThe Kwara State Police Command wishes to announce to the general public of the death of a white Zimbabwe farmersâ€.
â€œThe deceased Zimbabwe farmer, Hamish James Chisohm aged 63 was confirmed dead on Saturday at about 1206hrs after severe search when the deceased was said to be in search of water in the streamÂ located at Labintan village via Bakase in Asa LGA of Kwara stateâ€.
The PPRO addedÂ that , â€œthe incident occurred on 9/ 4/10 at about 11.50pm when one Seyi Adedokun â€˜mâ€™ of Nigeria starch mill farm Onire, along Alapa came to the police station to reportÂ the issue same date at about 145pm, Hamish James Chisohm, the deceased Zimbabwe farmer, Sunday, Baba Azeez, Elemosho and Seyi Adedokun all of the Starch Mill FarmÂ went to measure the land and set the boundaryâ€™â€™.
“At a stage , Hamish sent them to get him water from the office and later directed them to meet him at another location of the farm. When they came back with the water at the said location, Hamish was no where to be foundâ€
Dabo continued that, â€œ A search party was put in place to go round the farm to look forÂ himÂ but the search proved abortive. On 10/4/ 2010 (Saturday) search resumed and about 1206hrs of the same date, the body was found dead by the side of a stream in Labintan village via Bakase in Asa LGA of Kwara stateâ€.
The police spokesperson however notedÂ that investigation conducted on the decease showed thatÂ no mark of violence, cutsÂ Â wereÂ found on him and no foul play was suspected.
He stressedÂ that the deceased corpse has moved to the state specialist hospital morgue where autopsy will be conducted after which the body will be released to the family for burial.
Meanwhile, a high poweredÂ delegation comprisingÂ Â Â the state police commissioner, Muhtari Ibrahim, DPO Francis, the commissioner for planning and economic development, Abdulfatah Ahmad, Security Adviser to the Governor, Yinka Aluko , Mike fields and john sawyer( both Zimbabwe farmers from Shonga) and otherÂ staff of the farm were at the scene where he was found dead.â€™â€™â€™
As at the time of filing, this report, the autopsy report whichÂ is expected to unravel the real cause of his death according to SaturdayÂ Vanguard findings was not ready.
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources Engr (Prof) Mohammed Gana YisaÂ in his clarification noted that , The deceased Mr. James Alexander Gordon Harmish Chisholm was never at any time part of the registered Zimbabwean farmers in Shonga Farms Holding Nig.
â€™â€™ There was no Zimbabwean Farmer who was ever reported missing or dead, as all the thirteen (13) farmers in the service of Shonga Farms Holdings Nigeria Ltd are hale and hearty.â€™â€™
The deceased Mr. James Alexander Gordon Harmish Chisholm was never at any time part of the registered Zimbabwean farmers in Shonga Farms Holding Nig.
The commissioner stressed that James Gordon Harmish was an expatriate that worked at a private farm owned by Nigeria Starch Mills Ltd located at Ode-Giwa, Onire District, Asa Local Government Areas of the State .
The Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources as the parent Ministry that oversees agricultural programmes and projects in the State, is in the best position to clarify this matter.
â€˜â€™Let it also be noted that the late expatriate worked on a private farm located in Kwara Central Senatorial District whereas the Shonga Farms is located in Kwara North Senatorial Districtâ€™â€™.
As we await the autopsy report, ofÂ James Gordon Harmish an expatriate that worked at a private farm owned by Nigeria Starch Mills Ltd located at Ode-Giwa, Onire District, Asa Local Government Areas of the State, may his soul rest in perfect peace..