Barely four days after the Commandant of the Oyo State Security Network Agency otherwise called Amotekun, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (retd.), declared that the Oke Ogun and Ibarapa zone of the state was safe for residents, a 65-year-old farmer has been reportedly killed in Igangan.
Residents of Igangan community in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State were thrown into mourning on Wednesday as Bashiru Akinlotan, a native of the town, was found dead on the farm.
Akinlotan, who was alone at the time of the incident, was suspected to have been strangled by some yet-to-be identified bandits who consequently set his cocoa plantation on fire.
There have been reported cases of killings, rape, maiming and massive destruction of farmlands by suspected criminal herdsmen in the area. This heralded a crisis which spurred a Yoruba rights activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a Sunday Igboho, to issue a quit notice to the Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Salihu Abdukadir, and all killer herders in Ibarapaland recently.
Some residents of the community told The Street Journal on Thursday that the corpse of the farmer was found about 20 metres away from his farm while his 12 acre cocoa plantation was set ablaze.
The case was said to have been reported to the Igangan Police Station while the remains of the farmer were buried around 8pm on Wednesday.
When contacted, the Secretary of Farmers’ Union in the community, Taiwo Adeagbo, popularly known as Akowe Agbe, told our correspondent that he personally led those who reported the case to the DPO at Igangan Police Station.
Adeagbo said, “He (the murdered farmers) went to his farm along Apodun and lgangan Road on February 10 but we met him dead around 5:30pm about 20 metres away from his 12-acre cocoa plantation.
“Bashiru Akinlotan was about 65 years of age. We reported to Divisional Police Officer of lgangan Police Station. The corpse was released for burial by 8pm.
“He must have been strangulated and his farm was burnt. So, this shows that our area is not yet safe. These people are still around attacking and killing our people. We want the government to know this and act promptly and appropriately.”
The Oyo State Police Command confirmed the incident with an indication that investigation had since been launched to unearth both the immediate and remote causes of his death.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Oyo Command, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi, said that there was no mark of violence on the body of the dead farmer, adding, that “The family members confirmed that there were no traces of gunshots or piercings on the man’s body.
“They did not allow the police to put the body of the dead farmer in the morgue for autopsy to be carried out on him. They demanded for the immediate release of his body in order for them to bury him according to Islamic rite.”
The body of the farmer was committed to mother earth on Wednesday night by family members and other sympathisers in Igangan community.
Attempts made to reach the Amotekun Commandant on the incident were abortive as calls made to his telephone line were not picked as of the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, calls have been made in some quarters in the state, including the Oyo State House of Assembly, for full implementation of the anti open grazing law.
Recall that the House of Assembly, at its plenary on Tuesday, asked the state government to inaugurate the Open Grazing Prohibition Task Force in the state for full enforcement of the law.