Godswill Ojodomo LOKOJA.
Against the backdrop of incessant killings of prominent members of Egume Community, Ome Descendants Union , in Dekina Local Government Area of kogi state has called on the Governor Yahaya Bello and Security Agencies to launch high powered investigation into the killings with the aim of bringing the perpetrators to book.
In a petition to the committee on the resolution of the lingering crisis signed by the secretary of the Union, Mr Gabriel Ediche and made available to AgubaSun decried the blood bath occasioned by conflict over trespass into farms and farmlands by alleged herders in the area.
AgubaSun recalled that the vigilante chairman for the community, Mr Attah Isah was recently shot dead right in his house at Efakwu area by gunmen who reportedly arrived the family compound on motorcycles.
The petition added that a former vigilante chairman in the area, Malam Attah Wada, (AkA) Ukpono was murdered in similar circumstances, while observing his evening prayers in front of his house, even as the Amana- Attah of Ojikpadala – Egume, a former General Manager Radio Nigeria , Chief Isah Edime was also murdered in cold blood.
The group noted that the three slain leader were prominent in their mediation efforts over such conflicts before their demise.
While commending heads of security agencies, authority of the Dekina local government area, chiefs and elders
for their spirited efforts at ensuring lasting peace in the area , the group called for a holistic probe to finding lasting solution
The group noted that the indigenous farmers and the fulani herdsmen have co – existed peacefully for decades adding that herders had respected boundaries of the land given to them by chiefs and elders in the without cases of encroachment, nor crisis of the current magnitude.
“The questions begging for answers are whether the attacks are between the farmers and the fulanis who have lived with us for decades and are already part of the community, or where are these armed and violent fulanis coming from; who is accommodating this sect.
” Oko dudu is a boundary forest that accommodates farmers from Ologba, Anyigba, Iyale, Ikpakpala, Atochi, Etutekpe, Oganigu etc, why is Egume being singled out for criminal suspicion and accusation; who owns the land and whether it is possible for the landlord to be at the mercy of tenants he did not bargain for.
“We urge the committee to take time to visit the area under siege for proper investigation, assessment and appreciation of claims.
“In as much as we vehemently frown at criminal elements taking undue advantage of the crisis and killing of cows, the wanton destruction of farmlands, siege on farm produce , the persistent fear of the unknown and the consequential economic pain and agony of the landlords must not be undermined” The group queried.