The challenge of clashes between herdsmen and local farmers pervading parts of the country reared its head in Edo State, as a farmer, identified as Alex Igiemite, from Isoko North Council of Delta was reportedly matcheted to death in Okada, Ovia North East Council where he lived with his family.
It was gathered yesterday that the incident happened on Wednesday when the victim went to his farm and did not return.
Sympathisers and family members besieged the family residence to commiserate with them.
His wife, Margaret, said her husband left home on Wednesday morning for his farm but did not return, a development that made her to raise alarm and a search party was set up, upon which it he was discovered to have been murdered in his farm by suspected herdsmen.
“They killed him and have left these little children for me alone to care for. They did not pity them. We have not done anything against them. People said they saw herdsmen with their cows in that area the previous day,” she said amidst tears.
A villager, who witnessed the evacuation of the body to the mortuary, said “He was matcheted in his back, parts of his head and all over other parts of the his body and after they seemed to have finished their act, they cut his neck and stabbed his stomach.
“I see it as dastardly act, act of wickedness and I want the federal government to look into this matter.”
The deceased younger brother told journalists: “In the evening of Wednesday when I came back from my place of work, his wife told me that her husband had not come back and that she has been calling his number and his phone was ringing, but not picked.
“When I got to his farm, what I saw was horrible and I have to come back to town and went back with more village people and around 10 pm, we were in this bush.
“He used to complain all the time that all these Fulani herdsmen come to destroy his farm with their cows. I believe it is through them that this thing occurred and I want the Police to do a proper investigation.
“After the incident, we took a bike to the Fulani herdsmen camp and we did not find any single person there again. They had all disappeared.”
The Odionwere of Okada, Pa Imuvi Omomagionwanwi, decried the ugly incident and called for investigation.
A senior Police officer in Okada Police Station confirmed the development and said the Police had commenced investigation and the incident reported at the state command headquarters.
At press time, unknown persons, apparently aggrieved, set the herdsmen’s camp ablaze when they visited and discovered that it had been deserted.
Confirming the incident, Omosede Igbinedion, representing Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, described the killing as “another tragedy that has become a common occurrence in today’s Nigeria.”
Omosede, who hails from Okada community, urged the state Commissioner of Police to carry out full-scale investigation into the matter, with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book and making them face the wrath of the law.
“I received with both shock and horror, the dastardly act perpetrated by someone who can only be described as ‘barbaric, inhumane and animalistic.’
“We will not sit back and allow this to continue. I will bring the attention of the federal government to this gruesome murder, which was allegedly carried out by ‘Fulani herdsmen.
“It is expected that these herdsmen co-exist with the indigenous people of Okada and Ovia in a dignified manner. They have no right over another man’s farmland, not to talk of killing a man in cold blood.”