A Fulani herdsman, identified as Babuba Dengi, was reportedly killed on Monday in the Ikole local government area (LGA) of Ekiti state.
The alleged murder, according to The Nation, occurred in a bush between the Oke Oko and Irele communities of the LGA by settlers suspected to be of Benue origin.
This has left the residents of the area tense as they fear a reprisal attack by the herdsmen especially with news of the Benue attacks permeating the news wave.
The state governor, Ayodele Fayose, has already swung into action and told all parties involved he would not let anyone turn his state into a warzone.
speaking at a meeting of farmers and herdsmen he called on Tuesday, January 16, Fayose said security operatives have been ordered to fish out Dengi’s killers, adding there is no room for the murder of people, irrespective of their tribe in Ekiti state.
He said “recent steps taken by his administration to prevent violence between farmers and herdsmen do not give anybody license to unlawfully take human’s life.”
“I can’t accept anybody to be killed. If anybody killed anyone I will make sure you are killed by ensuring justice. I’m sad about the killing in Benue but we don’t want brutality in Ekiti.
“I won’t accept any killing here, the only thing acceptable here is peace. I, therefore, plead with everybody to cooperate with us.”
“I want peace in my state and everybody living here is from Ekiti whether you are Fulani, Tiv, Yoruba or anybody.
“The cow matter can’t cause problem between us. Oke Ako-Irele issue should not be allowed to fester. Cooperate with us and whoever kills would be fished out.
“When you are entering Ekiti, drop wherever you are coming from at the boundary. You can’t kill Yoruba, Fulani, Igbo or Tiv here.
“From information so far, the deceased died as a result of clash between Fulani herdsmen and some Tiv people, but at that we can’t condone lawlessness. We don’t want that type of Benue issue here.”
The meeting ended with the state governor calling the parties involved -herdsmen, farmers, hunters, council chairmen and traditional rulers- t an expanded meeting in order to curb the incident before it gets out of had.
Meanwhile, the Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has called on the federal government to bring to book killers of Fulani herdsmen.
This is contained in a statement released by the MACBAN national secretary, Alhaji Baba Usman Ngeljarma, on Wednesday.