From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The Egume Ome Descendants Union has appealed to security agencies and other concerned institutions and individuals in Kogi State to probe the incessant clashes between herders and farmers in Egume community, Dekina local government area of the State.
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 Authority correspondent on Monday in Lokoja, said “it was disheartened by the blood bath occasioned by conflict over trespass into farms and farmlands by herders in the area.”
“It will be recalled that the vigilante chairman for the community, Mr Attah Isah was recently shot dead in front his house in Efakwu area by gunmen who reportedly arrived the family compound on motorcycle”. the statement added.
“Also, 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, while the Amana- Attah of Ojikpadala – Egume, Chief Isah Edime, was also kidnapped from his house and murdered on 27th May 2014.”
“The trio were said to have been at one time or another involved in the 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 between the farmers and the herdsmen in the area, the group called for a holistic look at the remote causes of the misgivings in a view to proffering a lasting solution to it.
He said,” The questions begging for answers are whether the attacks are between the farmers and the Fulani who have lived with us for decades and are already part of the community; where are these armed and violent Fulani 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 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?”
It urged the committee to take time to visit the area under siege for proper investigation, assessment and appreciation of claims.