Herdsman killed in Ekiti by suspected ritualists

Ahmed Dele, the deceased.

A herdsman has been beheaded in Omu town, In Oye Local Government council in Ekiti State, by persons suspected to be ritual killers.

The death of the herdsman, 26, identified as Ahmed Dele, came barely three days after a farmer was decapitated in Orisunmibare, a farmstead under Itaji Ekiti in the same local government council.

The victim’s parents are Fulani from Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the murder of the herdsman has generated tension in the town.

Residents have linked the incident to the bloody land dispute between Ayede Ekiti and Itaji.

It was gathered on Friday that the victim was pursued by his assailants as he took his cattle out for grazing expedition until a few kilometers to the town before he was caught and decapitated.

The Secretary of the Jamunati Fulbe Association of Nigeria, Ekiti State Chapter, Idris Salaudeen, confirmed the incident, and said the victim was a member of the association.

According to him, the deceased was declared missing by his boss, Jimoh Dele, on Monday after Ahmed failed to return home with his cattle.

He added that the victim’s body was later discovered around 4.30 a.m. in the bush, some two kilometers away from the town the following day.

Mr. Salaudeen said with the incident, many of the herders were now afraid of going about their legitimate businesses, since they do not known the motive behind the gruesome killing of one of their members .

“Up till now there was no reported case of clash between the victim and any farmer in the area,” he said.

He called on the Federal Government and security agencies to save the Fulani community from what he called “unprovoked and unwarranted attack by unmasking the killers and bringing them to justice.”

“This is a very sad and frightening development considering what the country is going through in terms of insecurity,” Mr. Salaudeen said.

“There has been a lot of misconceptions and negative report about the activities of Fulani herdsmen in recent time.

“But I want to tell you that we are peace loving people and we have been living peacefully with our various host communities in Ekiti State.”

Also speaking, the traditional ruler of the community, the Olomu of Omu, J.A Ogundeyi described the incident as strange and condemnable.

The monarch described the victim as a peace loving individual who had not been found wanting in his business.

He explained that the community had been thrown into a mourning mood since the news broke out.

“The deceased is personally known to me in the Palace because he was a jovial person,” the monarch recalled.

“Whenever he was going leading his cattle for grazing he would stop by and play with me, in fact, the whole community is very sad about this.

“Our community play host to many tribes and ethnic groups and we have been living together peacefully.”

Oba Ogundeyi however, appealed for calm, noting that the palace in collaboration with other parties had swung into action to unearth the mystery behind the incident.

Police Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti Command, Alberto Adeyemi, did not respond to calls and text messages.

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