– Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have reportedly killed a pastor in Edo state – The cleric identified as Pius Eromosele was reportedly abducted by the herdsmen and killed later after his family failed to pay a N4 million ransom
The pastor’s son said he reported to the police but nothing was done to rescue his father There is tension in Odighi community, Ovia North-East local government area of Edo state after gunmen suspected to be herdsmen reportedly killed a pastor of the Church of God Mission, one Pius Eromosele.
The pastor was said to have been abducted by the armed men while working on his farm at Odighi on March 29. He was reportedly killed after the herdsmen demand for the sum of N4 million from him was not met, Vanguard reports. Also, another yet-to-be-identified body, suspected to be that of a farmer, was found in a shallow grave in the farm. The bodies of the deceased were said to have been uncovered in the bush by a search team comprising hunters and vigilantes who were searching for the pastor.
According to the eldest son of late Pastor Eromosele, Dr. Richard Eromosele, his father was abducted on Thursday, March 29, and was found already decomposing in the bush on Tuesday, April 3. He said the killers cut through his father’s skull after they shot him at close range. “I almost fainted when i saw how they brutally murdered my father,” he stated. “Last (penultimate) Thursday, my mother called that she had been calling my father and that he was not picking. She later called that my father later picked and told her that he has been kidnapped by herdsmen at his farm. “The herdsmen did not use their phones. They were using my father’s phone and a phone of one of his workers. They demanded for N4 million but we begged them that it was a holiday and could not raise such money.
“I went to the police and they told me that I should call them whenever the herdsmen called for ransom payment. I did that but there was no response from the police.
The two workers that escaped told us that the herdsmen told my father that he was one of those killing their cows.
“It was on Tuesday after the police failed to find my father that I begged hunters and vigilante to help me. It was during the search that we found my father. His skull was cut out with a cutlass, while his hands were also cut.
We want security agencies to protect farmers in Odighi. My father has farmed in that place for many years. How could I go into farming when my father was killed like a pig,” he lamented.
The Punch reports that the commissioner of police, Johnson Kokumo, and the police public relations officer, Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reached for comments as calls put across to their mobiles were unanswered.
The clashes between herdsmen and farmers has been generating quite a buzz. Some states have passed anti grazing laws as herdsmen continue to attack communities across the country In an earlier report by Districttvafrica.com , Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, met with the national leaders of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) and heads of security agencies in the state at the Government House in Benin city on Friday, April 6. Obaseki at the meeting said his administration would do everything within its power to ensure quality security in the state and ensure peaceful co-existence between the herdsmen and farmers in Edo.
The governor said the state is fortunate to have recorded fewer incidents as efforts have been intensified to manage the situation. He said this was done by setting up the security committee in the 18 local government councils.