There was tension yesterday in the Shaki area of Oyo State as a bloody clash ensued between the Yoruba and Fulani herdsmen over the killing of a popular farmer in the area.
Although, the state Police Command has deployed mobile policemen to the town, the number turned out to be inadequate as the clash remained unabated, a situation that has forced the authority to draft heavily-armed soldiers to the area.
A resident of the area told The Guardian that trouble started with the killing of a farmer, who was identified as Jelili, was hacked to death over allegations that the deceased killed one of the herdsmen’s cattle.
The attackers were said to have gone into hiding to prevent reprisals by the enraged youths who were said to have destroyed the herdsmen property worth thousands of Naira. The crisis has escalated but the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude told Journalists that it was a case of murder.
In a related development, the Benue State Government yesterday condemned statements credited to the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore on the recently passed anti-open grazing law in the state, saying such comments amount to an open declaration of war on the Benue people.
Commissioner for Information, Lawrence Onoja (Jr.), who made the call at a press conference in Makurdi yesterday, called on security agencies to arrest leaders of the group for making inciting statements capable of breaching public peace in the state, which he said, amounted to treason.
Onoja said the statements of the Fulani socio-cultural group had put the state under threat and called on the Federal Government to call Miyetti Allah and its leaders to order before they plunge the entire country into trouble that may be difficult to contain.
Speaker of the House, Terkimbi Ikyange gave the ruling after a debate on a motion of urgent public importance moved by the Majority Leader, Benjamin Adanyi, who drew the House’s attention to the group’s uncomplimentary remarks at a media briefing.
Adanyi said it had become clearer that the attack on Benue communities was not as a result of their quest for grazing but an attempt to takeover the state.
The National President of the association, Abdullahi Bello and Secretary, Saleh Alhassan had last Tuesday addressed a World Press Conference in Abuja where they not only kicked against the law recently enacted in the state but also vowed to mobilise their members across the country to resist its implementation.
The group also attributed the herdsmen/farmers crisis in the state to the struggle for natural resources and claimed ownership of the Benue Valley. Guardian