Again, Fulani herdsmen swoop on Falae’s farm
Kill Security Guard
A member of the Yoruba militia group, Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) guarding the farm of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, in Ilado, Ondo State has been reportedly killed by nomadic cattle rearers after the farm was attacked again last weekend.
The security guard, whose name was withheld, was declared missing after the attack until his body was found two days ago, battered and shattered with traces suggesting a premeditated murder.
It was gathered from dependable sources that the herdsmen swooped on the farm located at Ilado in Akure North Local Council and kidnapped the security guard, whose body was later discovered inside a pool of water a few kilometres to the farm.
The herdsmen, according to reports, invaded the farm, but must have been challenged by the security guards engaged by the politician following the incessant invasion of the farm, only to reinforce to kidnap the deceased.
Consequently, the matter was reported at the state Police Command and a search party was organised, leading to the discovery of his body.
The state Police Command, which had sent out invitation to journalists in the state for a press briefing yesterday, abruptly cancelled it, while the Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Hilda Harrison, did not give any reason for the postponement of the briefing.
But sources at the Command said the assignment might have been put off due to the sensitive nature of the incident, while awaiting approval from the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, declined comment on the recent attack and killing of the guard.
Joseph noted that all the questions should be directed to the Police Commissioner, but all attempts to reach her proved abortive.
Personal Assistant to Falae, Mr. Moshood Adekunle Raji, confirmed the incident, but also declined to speak further on the matter, saying it was a criminal matter and would be handled by the State Police Command.
Raji stated that the Police were still investigating the matter, hence he could not make any comment on the latest development.
Falae himself was kidnapped on the same farmland on his 77th birthday on September 21, last year and his abductors, reported to be Fulani herdsmen, initially demanding N100 million ransom.
The elder statesman was said to have been taken to Owo where he was kept at a place called ‘Pipeline’ around Benin junction where he was kept.
Eventually, the ransom of N5 million was allegedly paid to one Datijo, who, according to one of the kidnappers, Abdullahi Usman, made away with the money.
Usman, said he initiated the plan for money to celebrate Salah, but regretted that one of his other accomplices made away with the N5 million ransom paid by the family for Falae’s release.
In their narrative, it was the second suspect Kato, who ferried Datijo and Falae on his commercial motorcycle from the hideout to where he was eventually picked up by the Police.
According to Mr. Abdullahi Garba, who addressed the press on behalf of the DSS, the suspects were picked up in Lokoja.
He stated that the abductors were mere criminals and that their action was not motivated by any political or ethnic sentiment save for criminality.
“The service wishes to state that the abductors were mere criminals. Investigations have further revealed that their action was not targeted at Falae as a statesman and prominent Yoruba leader.”
He enjoined Nigerians to continue to live peacefully with one another and shun attempts by mischief-makers to give the unfortunate incident an ethnic coloration and use it to cause disaffection among the populace.
There has been incessant kidnapping of people in Ondo State by the herdsmen before and after the Falae incident, which has further worsened the relationship between them and their hosts.
ome of the Fulanis and Hausas have said that it is the core implementation of the grazing routes that can solve the social problem, just as they look forward to the immediate implementation and other initiatives by the state government, as promised.
The Ondo State Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Bello Garuba, promised then to call a meeting of members of his association and prevail on them to desist from grazing on government and individual farms.