Hoodlums suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have murdered a security officer guarding the erstwhile Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, at his Ilado farm in Ondo State, SaharaReporters learned on Friday evening.
Moshood Raji, a personal assistant to Chief Falae, informed our correspondent about the gruesome incident, saying that the security guard’s body was found by a search party in a dam on the outskirts of Mr. Falae’s farm two days after the incident had occurred.
Mr. Raji revealed that the victim was seized last week shortly after a battle with the Fulani herdsmen. The case was then immediately reported to all the security agencies in the State for further action and investigation.
"These miscreants are Fulani herdsmen who invaded Olu’s farm located in the Ilado area of Akure last week on Tuesday and destroyed the crops like they did the last time our principal was abducted,” he said.
"I was not around when the incident occurred, but other workers narrated to me how the Fulani herdsmen had initially trespassed with their cattle onto the land and were challenged by the security man.”
He added that the intruders were armed with weapons and “beat [the security guard] to a pulp.”
"This was the same attitude and action these hoodlums displayed when Chief Falae was kidnapped for several days. Now they have killed one of us and for the second time destroyed our crops," he said.
A SaharaReporters correspondent learned that the late security guard was a traditional local hunter and member of the Odua Peoples Congress (OPC). He was employed to man the office of the Afenifere leader in the forest.
A police source told our correspondent that the matter was reported at a mobile police station close to the village before the case was transferred to the State Police Command in Akure city.
"The case was reported here and our officers in charge immediately sent a signal to the State headquarters for further action,” a police source said.
"A search party was set up to look for the kidnapped hunter but unfortunately his dead body was found floating in a dam by the team compromising of the villagers and security personnel.”
Ondo State Police spokesman Femi Joseph abruptly told SaharaReporters to contact State Police Commissioner Hilda Ibifuro Harrison for comment.
"I have spoken with some newsmen and all I told them was to contact the office of the Police Commissioner or reach her through her mobile line for more information over the case," he said.
Our correspondent asked for the mobile number of the Police Commissioner but Mr. Joseph refused to provide it and disconnected the call.
A source at the Police Command told a SaharaReporters correspondent that the new Police Commissioner had planned to address journalists over the incident at the State headquarters on Igbatoro Road in Akure, but the event was postponed to next week.
"The Commissioner of Police, Hilda Ibifuro Harrison, had wanted to brief journalists over the level of investigation on the matter but it was cancelled at the last minute.”
Sources who spoke to SaharaReporters in Ilado village on Friday evening said local vigilantes had already declared war on the Fulani herdsmen.
"Just prepare to write more stories about our village. We have declared war on these hoodlums who are using our village to perpetrate all forms of crime,” a local resident said.
"This village used to be peaceful until they arrived here with their cattle and causing trouble. We can't take this anymore in this village. I feel that our continuous silence over their nefarious activities allowed them to strike us for a second time in a deadly manner.”