A 41 year old cassava farmer and an indigene of Obi local government of Benue State, Fidelis Ikpechi has reportedly been hacked to death last week Thursday by suspected ritualists at his cassava farm in Ogere Remo which was not more than 20 minutes walking distance to his house.
The assailants were said to have made away with his heads and some parts of his intestines.
Fidelis, whose wife and three children were said to have traveled to their home town in Benue State for the New Year celebration had left for his cassava farm around 4 pm on Thursday but never returned until his headless body tucked inside a sack was found on Friday morning around Ositelu street, Ogere Remo.
The Secretary of Igede community, Ogere Remo, Mr Michael Ekirigwe told our Correspondent that when those living in same house with Fidelis found out he was yet to come back from farm by 6pm they started calling his phone though it rang but was not picked.
Ekirigwe said, when it was around 8pm they formed a search party and went to his cassava farm which was not more than 20 minutes away but found nothing until the following morning when the dismembered body of the victim was found in a sack about 100 metres away from the cassava farm of the Benue indigene.
Speaking to our Correspondent on this gruesome murder, the elder brother to the deceased, Mr Adikpe Sunday, staff of a construction firm in Ogere Remo, said he never envisaged his brother who he encouraged to relocate to Ogere for greener pastures from a village near Abeokuta seven years ago could so soon meet his tragic end.
Explaining further, Mr Adikpe said “I brought him to Ogere from Abeokuta side about seven years ago. I felt the farming work he was doing there was too stressful and that when he comes around I would help him get a job. When he got to Ogere, he worked for like two years with Animal Care company but later went back to farming, may be he felt the money was not enough”.
He said he was at his duty post on Friday morning around 6:20am when somebody called to say that his brother who went to farm in the evening of the previous day was still being looked for like a pin inside stack of hay.
Adikpe said after closing from the night shift around 8am on Friday, he went straight to Ogere police station to make a report of his missing brother only for him to be called about an hour later by some of his kinsmen combing the bush that they had seen his brother’s headless body with some parts of his intestines missing.
He disclosed that he was however sad that his very hardworking brother who had quietly been contributing his quota towards attaining food sufficiency in the country could be so cut down in his prime demanding that government and police authority must ensure those behind this criminal and painful acts were brought to book in shortest possible time.
Speaking on behalf of Igede community in Ogere, the secretary of the association, Michael Ekirigwe said ” we are very sad and disillusioned with the dastard killing of one of us, in fact we are very pained that a man quietly working in his farm not too far away from his house could be brutally killed like animals, what then is the fate of those whose farms are very far to the town?”.
Ekirigwe explained further that “since this unfortunate incident, our people who are mainly farmers as very typical of Benue state indigenes now live in fear, our businesses are in the bush. We can’t go to farm again. We plead with the governor of the state, Sen Ibikunle Amosun and police authority to please come to our aid and ensure that those found culpable in this criminal act are punished according to the dictate of the law”.
He added that ” we even gathered that in the last two months, the suspected ritual killing of Fidelis is the third in Ogere Remo coming after the killing of one Hausa man and another Igbo woman selling Palm wine. Sometimes last year too in Odogbolu, one Benue indigene was also killed on his farm. We sincerely hope all the security agents, most especially, Nigerian police will rise to this occasion”.
The Public Relations of Ogun State police command, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi when contacted over the tragic incident said he was at an event and promised to find out details about the murderous act.