Fear, anxiety have gripped the people of Akoko Northwest local government area of Ondo State even as tension also mounts in other Akoko communities following the alleged killing of a 40-year-old farmer, Dayo Festus, on his farm by some Fulani herdsmen.
The news reporter gathered that following the incident, most farmers in the area have deserted their farms for fear of being killed.
A former chairman of Ajowa Akoko community, Mr Bakare Ajayi, who noted that the influx of Fulani herdsmen to Ajowa and other Akoko towns is worrisome said the trend might lead to serious food shortage and famine.
Bakare said “the herdsmen, who behave like lords do not have respect for farmers and their farmlands as they invaded farms with their cattle, destroyed farm products worth millions of naira and robbing the people of their economic base.”
He called on the State Government to intervene before the situation gets out of hand.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that Festus was killed after he challenged some Fulani herdsmen whose cattle had eaten up his crops.
It was also learnt that the late Festus took bank loans for the farm which was vandalised by the cows.
A source disclosed that it was easy for the killers of Festus to kill him because the day was a Friday when many farmers do not go to farms.
A close relative of the deceased, Mr Aodu Badru revealed that on many occasions, there had been conflicts and misunderstanding between Festus, popularly called Sefun and some Fulani herdsmen, over incessant destruction of his farm crops which had made him reported them at the police station in Ajowa.
When contacted, the Ikare Akoko Police Area Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Razak Rauf confirmed the killing of the farmer, saying he was matcheted and strangulated to death.
ACP Razak disclosed that police were combing the forest to bring the perpetrators to book to serve as deterrent to others.
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