Rashidat Olowoniyi, the 30-year-old wife of a murdered farmer in the Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State, Dele Olwoniyi, has said she watched in disbelief as herdsmen macheted her husband to death, for challenging how their cows ate his cassava crops.
Peeping through the curtains inside a small hut at a farm settlement located at Oha village in the Imeko- Afon LGA, Rashidat recalled that she could not shout alongside her only child of a 10-year-old marriage so that the killer herdsmen would not harm her and her son.
On February 8, 2021, the husband was reportedly murdered in his sleep.
Olowoniyi’s wife was said to have found him dead with machete cuts in his neck and other parts of his body.
Speaking with Punch, Rashidat claimed that the suspected herdsmen were 18 and stormed the farm at 12am with six motorcycles and started shooting indiscriminately.
She added that some of the killer herdsmen reportedly attacked her husband in his sleep and macheted him to death.
She said, “We had slept that day but my husband decided to sleep outside. My son and I slept inside the room. I was inside when they killed him. They first started shooting; it was the gunshots that woke me up. I opened the curtains slightly and I saw them. They came in six motorcycles and three people were on each motorcycle. I saw them leave after killing him.
“He was dragged on the floor. They beamed torchlight around to see someone else but I dodged behind the curtains. I watched as they took his phone, wallet tied to his waist and ransacked his pocket for money. They spoke Fulfulde. That is what made me know that they are Fulani.”
On what she felt could cause the attack, Rashidat said that her late husband had two months ago complained to the Fulani community after some cattle reportedly ate his farm crops. However, she said the Fulani community apologised to him, unknown to them that they planned to attack him later.
She added, “Cows ate the cassava on his farm awaiting harvesting. We were waiting for rain before harvesting so that we could plant new ones. That was the reason we didn’t harvest the cassava. The cattle ate the cassava we planted last. My husband was angry because of the development.
“He challenged the Fulani on why they allowed their cattle to eat his crops. He told them that his farm was not in the bush. They begged him and everything was settled. That was two months ago.”
The widow further said her husband’s killers were still using his mobile phone, appealing to security agencies to apprehend the culprits and bring them to book.
She said, “We want the culprits to be arrested. We want the government to help us. The deceased’s child is still young. There is nothing I want to use to train him. He is just six years old. My husband’s death is a tough one for me because his death caused me much pain. He didn’t enjoy the fruits of his labour. He had started the new planting season but they didn’t allow him to finish it.”