The police in Ogun State have arrested three herdmen for allegedly killing a 40-year-old farmer, Rafiu Sowemimo.
Mr Sowemimo was killed on Sunday in Adao village in Alabata area of Odeda Local Government Area of the state
The police spokesperson in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, told journalists on Monday that the arrest of the suspects followed a distress call by people of the village that some herdsmen while grazing their cattle entered the farm of the victim and destroyed his crops.
The police said the victim thereafter accosted the herders, leading to an altercation during which the herdsmen allegedly stabbed him to death.
“On receiving the information, the Commissioner of Police, Cp Bashir Makama, directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of operations and that of State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department to move into the scene and ensure that the culprits were brought to book,” he said.
Mr Oyeyemi said acting on the commissioner’s directive, the officers led other police officers to the scene and they were able to arrest the three herders who perpetrated the heinous crime.
He named the arrested suspects as Muhammed Adamu, Saliu Ismail and Saliu Adam.
He said the Commissioner of Police, who was at the village to condole with the family of the victim, ordered the transfer of the suspects to the homicide section of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department for proper investigation and prosecution.
Violence between herders and farmers has caused the deaths of thousands of people in the past year.
The violence, which is usually economic, often take ethnic and religious dimensions causing tension in already polarised environments.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of not doing enough to check the activities of the armed herdsmen. On Monday, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote to Mr Buhari to do more to check violent activities including by Fulani herdsmen across the country.
The president, a Fulani, has, however, said anyone caught engaged in criminal activities should be dealt with according to the law.