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Suspected herders kill OPC member, abduct farmer in Ondo

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Demand N60m ransom

Barely five days after the peace parley between Ondo State Government and Fulani herders, some suspected herders have killed a member of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in Iju, Akure North Local Council.

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The OPC member was identified as Mr. Adejuyigbe Daniel, while a farm owner, Mr. Segun Akinmeji, was also abducted by the herdsmen at his farm located at Okeji Farm Settlement in the town.

At press time, a source close to the farmer said the kidnappers had contacted the family demanding N60 million ransom.

A youth leader in the town, Mr. Ogundeji Ayodeji, said that the Fulani herdsmen had been terrorising the host community for a very long time through abduction, collection of ransom and killing of victims.

He revealed that the incident occurred on Saturday when Mr. Akinmeji went to his farm only to be reportedly abducted by some Fulani herdsmen while some other men with him escaped with bruises.

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According to him, the incident made him summon youths and some OPC members in the town to organise a search team on Sunday morning to locate the victim in the bush and set him free from his abductors.

He, however, noted that their search was to no avail till Monday morning when they reported the case to the police division in the town and members of the South West Security Networks, popularly known as Amotekun Corps, to join the search party.

The Youth Leader mentioned that the two security agencies joined the search team and headed into the forest to rescue the abducted farmer but were engaged in a gun duel by the herders.

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He said the search continued on Tuesday morning, as the group, numbering about 30, moved to the forest in batches, while the late Adejuyigbe headed to a separate direction to continue his search for the missing farmer.

He bemoaned that after the whole exercise, all search party members assembled but the late OPC member was not present, adding that this made them intensify more efforts to look for him.

He said his dead body was later found at a place where the local tent allegedly erected by the herders was located with his legs and hands tied and eyes blindfolded.

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Tee Leo-Ikoro, who confirmed the incident, averred that investigation had commenced to unravel the killing and abduction of the late Adejuyigbe.

He said that the Commissioner of Police had ordered a manhunt for the suspected killer-herders.

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