By Boluwaji Obahopo – Lokoja
Youths from Oforachi community in Idah local government council of Kogi state allegedly killed four Fulani herdsmen and dumped their bodies in Ofu river following the killing of one Godwin Egbunu aged 65 years at his farm.
An eye witness who simply gives his name as Audu disclosed that the farmer was attacked last Friday by some Fulanis herdsmen who invaded his farmland, destroyed all the crops.
According to him, “The farmer went to the police station where two policemen were asked to follow the farmer to the said farm and on getting there, the suspected herdsmen attack the farmer again right in the presence of the policemen and killed him.
“The policemen said they could not stop the killing of the farmer because they were not armed. This angered the youths in the community who killed four Fulanis in retaliation.”
Audu, however, said members of the community no longer sleep but are keeping vigil to ensure Fulanis do not come and killed them at night in retaliation of their brothers that were killed by the youth.
“Kogi communities such as Ogbogbo, Odolu, Akpanya, that are close to Oforachi are now living in fear as a result of possible reprisal attack by the Fulani herdsmen.”
Kogi state has witnessed different attacks in respective communities in the last five years, with Tarawi and Oforachi been the latest.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of Kogi State Police Command, Mr Williams Anya in a press statement confirmed the incident to Vanguard on Monday.
According to him, “On the 18 of this month, at about 0700hrs, information was received from Oforachi that unknown persons suspected to be herdsmen killed one Godwin Egbunu aged 65 of same addressed at his farm and as a result angry youths from the village began attacking any Fulanis on sight.
“SUPOL stationed at Ajaka immediately mobilised his personnel to scene and rescussd two fulani men from the mob but seriously injured. The injured Fulani men were rushed to Idah hospital for treatment.
“Area Command Idah equally mobilized personnel from divisions under his command PMF SARS Operatives reinforced team on ground.
“Normalcy has been restored, they took the photographs of the corpse and was taken to the general hospital mortuary for autopsy as investigation continue”.
Anya also said One Mohammed Arade a Fulani man of Egabada village reported at the Ajaka police station that two of their men namely Abubakar Nahare aged 65 years, and Hassan Natunku aged 60 years were not seen since the incident happened.
“Immediately, a search party led by the Acting Area Commander Idah swung into action as the corpse of the two missing Fulani men were recovered from inside Ofu river at Oforachi with their hands tied into nine inches block.
“The photographs of the deceased was taken and their corpse was taken to the general hospital mortuary for autopsy as investigation continued.”