Youths pollute Kogi river with ‘herdsmen’s dead bodies’

Youths pollute Kogi river with ‘herdsmen’s dead bodies’

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Epidemic is brewing, following four dead bodies killed in farmers and herders clashes that were dumped in Ofu River in Oforachi Community by angry youths in the Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State.

The bodies suspected to be herdsmen have been discovered in the River on Sunday.

The bodies were allegedly dumped in the river by some unidentified youths in a reprisal over the killing of one Godwin Egbunu aged 65 years on his farm last Friday by suspected herdsmen.

The development has heightened tension in Oforachi Community in Igalamela/Odolu Local Government Area of the State while the water has become unsafe for use and drinking.

A witness simply identified as Audu told The Punch that the incident happened last Friday.

He said the farmer was attacked by some Fulani herdsmen who invaded his farm and destroyed his crops.

According to him, the farmer went to the police station to report the incident. At the police station, he said two policemen were asked to follow him to the said farm with a view to arresting the herders but on getting there the suspected herdsmen attack the farmer right in the presence of the policemen and killed him.

The policemen, according to the outfit could not stop the farmer’s killing because they were not armed.

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But angered by the killing of the farmer and alleged police culpability in his death, the youths killed four Fulani in retaliation.

However, a resident said members of the community could no longer sleep with their two eyes open as they were keeping vigil to ensure the Fulani did not attack them at night in retaliation for their killed brothers.

Communities such as Ogbogbo, Odolu and Akpanya that are close to Oforachi are also now living in fear as a result of possible reprisal by the Fulani.

Kogi State has witnessed different attacks in respective communities in the last five years, with Tarawi and Oforachi been the latest.

In the meantime, the Public Relations Officer of the Kogi State Police Command, Mr Williams Anya, in a press statement confirmed the incident to journalists on Monday.

He recalled that on January 18 at about 0700hrs, information was received from Oforachi that unknown persons suspected to be herdsmen killed Egbunu on his farm.

Angry youths from the village, he said, organised a reprisal during which they attacked any Fulani on sight.

He said the SUPOL stationed at Ajaka immediately mobilised personnel to the scene and rescued two injured Fulani men from the mob.

DSP Ayah said the injured Fulani men were rushed to the Isah Hospital for treatment.

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He said, “Normalcy has been restored, they took the photographs of the corpses and were taken to the general hospital’s mortuary for autopsy as investigation continues.”

He 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, 65 and Hassan Natunku aged 60 years, had not been seen since the incident happened.

He said a search party was organised to look for the two missing men.

“The search party later saw the corpses of the two Fulani men on Ofu river at Oforachi with their hands tied into nine inches block,” he said.

Ayah said the photographs of the deceased were taken and their corpses taken to general hospital’s mortuary for autopsy as investigation continued.

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