Abraka community in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta state has raised alarm over a new pattern of killings allegedly perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen, leaving the community worried and afraid to go on their daily farming activities.
The recent killing of a 50-year-old staff of the Delta State University (DELSU) Abraka, Mr Sunday Idama, at his cassava farmland in Ovre-Abraka community, by suspected Fulani herdsmen has prompted the community to cry out loud to the Delta state and the Federal Government.
They have demanded that decisive and proactive actions be taken to bring the genocide and incessant harassment to an end, as well as bring the perpetrators to book.
Abraka, is one of the 25 Urhobo kingdoms, mostly known as a university town, as it hosts the main campus of the Delta State University.
Also, its fertile land supports the growth of crops, hence it is not out of place to say that agriculture occupies a prominent place in the daily survival of the people in the community.
It appears however, that the agricultural advantage that emanates from the community may have been thwarted by fear and cautiousness which the people say is as a result of the recent attacks.
According to the community members, they have lived with the Fulani herdsmen who depend on them as host communities for the provision of basic needs such as grains, shelter and indeed, husks from the harvest which has provided food for their animals for a very long time.
The community however alleged that the herdsmen suddenly turned away from the long-standing, mutually-beneficial relationship, by taking up arms against the community, a situation that has created fatherless, motherless and orphaned children.
“For us to go to the farm is a problem, we are not allowed to visit our farms because once they meet you, they rape you. We are all afraid and that is why farming in our area has reduced,” a resident told Channels Television.
Samuel Okumagbe, the Chairman Ogwuezi Quarters, Oghara, also expressed worry over the persistent attacks.
“We have lost count, about two weeks ago, one happened in Obiaruku and it was the policemen that rescued the people.
“Before the Christmas celebrations, two people were killed, our girls and women were raped in the farms and that is why we are afraid to go to our farms. They carry sophisticated ammunition making it impossible for us to face them.”
Another farmer, Eris Jewo, said: “We cannot access our farm at Abraka reserves since December, we borrowed money to establish the farm and when we want to harvest what we have planted earlier for sale in order to pay back our loan to Bank of Agriculture, we were denied access to our farms and that is the position in Abraka”
Confirming the incident, State Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Aniamaka said security operatives were deployed to the crime scene to recover the corpse, adding that investigations would reveal whether or not the killing was perpetrated by herdsmen.
“We are investigating a case of murder and have deployed patrol teams to the area to ensure there is calm. Because it happened in the farm does not imply that it was an attack by herdsmen, we are already making inquiries to what could have led to the incident and we will definitely bring to book whoever perpetrated the act.”
Also reacting to the situation, the State Commissioner for Information, Patrick Ukah, described the incident as unfortunate and urged the Federal Government to implement policies that would permanently put an end to this menace.
SOURCE: Channels Tv