Abeokuta – Residents of Pakudi village near Obada-Oko in Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State have fled their homes over fear of reprisal attack by Fulani herdsmen following the killing of a Fulani man allegedly by a villager.
When journalists visited the village on Monday, it was observed that the village had been deserted by most of the villagers except few people who were seen in their houses.
Pakudi village, located beside the ongoing rail construction by the Federal Government at Obada Oko, is a 10-minute drive from Abeokuta, the state capital.
It was gathered that a Benue-born farmer reportedly killed a Fulani herdsman, last Wednesday, for allegedly destroying his farm. He has since fled the village.
Further findings by INDEPENDENT showed that the Police had stormed the affected village few hours after the incident to whisked away some villagers who were later released after completion of interrogation.
It was further learned that, the wife of the alleged killer has been arrested by the operatives of SARs in the state.
The suspected killer was reported to have killed the Fulani herdsman on his farm and took away his belongings including his stick.
A source, who spoke with INDEPENDENT on condition of anonymity, said the suspected killer came from Benue state, but settled down in the village as a farmer.
He said “This is first time I heard of this. The community had been peaceful before this ugly incident.
“As at now (Monday) most residents of this village have run away to save their lives, because they heard that the Fulani herdsmen have been ganging up somewhere to attack the village. The village is deserted now.”
Another villager who identified himself simply as Zacchaeus who was seen in the village explained that he was risking his life by staying in the village.
He said, “Many people are in the bush to avoid being attacked by Fulani herdsmen over the death of one of them.”
When asked why he chose to stay when others have fled, he said, “I have no place to take my family to. I must stay with my family. Whatever is going to happen, let me see it; I must protect my family.”
When asked if the leaders of the village had taken any step to protect the people in the village who had run away, he said few of them who stayed behind had gone to the nearby police station to report the alleged planned attack.
He said “We went to the Police station and when we got there we saw that the man (suspected killer) and two more people have been arrested by Operatives of Special Anti-Robbery squad.
“They said we are save, but we are not sure of their statement of assurance.”
When contacted on the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi confirmed the incident.
Oyeyemi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the suspect had been arrested by Police, adding that the arrest was enough evidence that Police are on top of the situation.
He also allayed the fear of the residents over the alleged planned attack saying the arrest has solved the problem.
He said, “There is no cause for alarm, no planned attack by anybody. We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with all the leaders of ethnic groups in the state especially farmers and herdsmen.
“I urge the people to go back to their homes and continue doing their legitimate businesses. There is no planned attack by Fulani herdsmen on them.”