Two herders and a farmer have been killed in Oforachi community in Igalamela Local Government Area of Kogi State. The state police command confirmed the development in a statement issued in Lokoja on Monday.
It was gathered that the killing of a farmer, Godwin Egbunu Omale by suspects alleged to be herdsmen in Oforachi community on Saturday and rumours of reprisal the following day ignited tension across communities in the area.
Locals said the deceased had gone to report the alleged destruction of his farmland by cows to the police and he was asked to come back the following day, January 19, to enable them visit the farm for on the spot assessment.
According to them, the deceased returned as agreed and a policeman along with some family members accompanied him to the scene of the incident.
“As they were trying to track the herders, he was ambushed and killed, while the others along with the police officer took to their heels,” Mr Ojodale Usman told Daily Trust on Monday. National president of Igalamela Cultural and Development Association (ICDA) Mr Isaac Inna said “it took more than five hours to get security agents deployed to the area, which enabled the culprits to escape.”
He further alleged that there were “cases of people who have had their hands chopped off, many killed and girls and women raped on their farmlands without adequate government intervention.”
Our correspondent learnt that there was mass exodus from the area as rumour of killing of two herders in retaliation of the killing of the farmer spread on Monday.
When contacted, spokesman of the police in the state, DSP William Aya, confirmed the killing of the farmer, adding that the corpses of two herders believed to have been killed in a reprisal attack were found in Ofu River near Oforachi community.
Aya said the corpses of the herders were recovered with their hands and legs tied to nine inches blocks, adding that their remains have since been deposited in the mortuary.