Tension gripped Ilawe Ekiti on Saturday following the killing of a farmer identified as Mr. Rotimi Omolafe, by some herdsmen, who grazed their cattle into his farm.
Two police Armoured Personnel Carriers and policemen were seen patrolling the streets of Ilawe on Sunday when our correspondent visited the town to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order as a result of the killing.
Our correspondent gathered that Omolafe, who was also a cocoa merchant, was overpowered by about seven herdsmen and was murdered on the farm, which is along Ilawe- Igbara Odo Road.
The hoodlums were also said to have attempted to attack another farmer, who had a farm nearby but the farmer, who was Omolafe’s neighbour, escaped from his attackers.
It was learnt that on hearing the news of the murder of the farmer, youths of the community mobilised and were ready to unleash mayhem on anybody suspected to be Fulani in the community but the timely intervention of elders in the community and security agents prevented this.
A youth in the town, who spoke with our correspondent, said the herdsmen had been terrorising the community for a long time, saying the killing provoked the youths in the community to react the way they did.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Victor Babayemi, confirmed the incident to our correspondent in a statement.
He said, “The Ilawe Police Division received a report of the gruesome murder of a middle-age man in a farm about five kilometers from Ilawe Ekiti. Police detectives were dispatched to the scene and the body of the yet to be identified middle-age man was found lying in a pool of blood with marks of violence all over his body.
“The body of the victim has been removed and taken to General Hospital, Ilawe for autopsy. The scene has also been secured and now restricted to members of the public.
“The assailants have yet to be identified and the motive behind the dastardly act is yet to be established. However, two suspects have been arrested and are being interrogated. Our detectives are working hard to find the killers and bring them to justice.
“ The command appeal for calm on the part of the peace loving people of Ilawe-Ekiti. We enjoin them to come up with useful information that can help find the killers instead of engaging in violent protests that can further cause break dawn of law and order.”