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Farmers, youths protest against herders killings in Delta


[FILES] Hausa-Fulani pastoralists move while their cattle grazing near some farms in the outskirts of Sokoto, Sokoto State, Nigeria, on April 22, 2019. – Massive expansion of farming in Nigeria has cut access to grazing land for nomadic herders and fuelled persistent violence. (Photo by Luis TATO / AFP)

Hundreds of Abraka and Obiaruku residents, comprising farmers and youths in Ethiope East and Ukwuani councils of Delta State, yesterday, protested against the daily killing of farmers and indigenes of both communities by herdsmen.

They blocked the Benin junction on the Abraka/Agbor road for about four hours to protest the killings, maiming of farmers, and raping of women on their farms.


The Guardian learned that the recent killing of husband, wife, and children in Abraka town prompted the youths to block the Abraka/Agbor highway, chanting: “Enough is enough.”

When The Guardian visited the scene, a serious gridlock had already built up, as motorists and other travelers on both sides could not access the road

The protesters said the herdsmen killed Mike Egba, who worked with the Planning Unit of the Delta State University while returning from his farm at Oghonogbo farm settlement in Obiaruku, adding that his son and a close relative were also killed on the same day.


They carried placards with inscriptions: Okowa Stop Fulani Herdsmen; Okowa Stop The Killings Now; Stop Killer Herdsmen Now; Assist Us, Our People Are Dying and We Say No To Fulani Killer Herdsmen, among others.

Chairman of the farmers association in Abraka and Obiaruku communities, Idigun Duke, said the attack on farmers seemed to have gone out of hand.

“Our protest today is about the killing of our farmers on their farms, as well as raping and killing of our women and girls. Someone goes to his farm and won’t come back home. We have written petitions to the governor and protested to the Delta State House of Assembly.

“The lawmakers asked us to petition the governor, which we did. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa asked us to forward the petition to the Commissioner of Police (CP) in the state, which we also did, but no one has helped us.


“Herdsmen uproot our cassavas to feed their cattle. Our farmers no more go to their farms. We want to see the governor. Let him come and address us.”

“The herdsmen killed a farmer and his two children on Sunday, carried a vigilante into the bush and up till now, we have not found him. Another vigilante was shot on his stomach and is in the hospital. An uncountable number of farmers have so far been killed,” he lamented.

He stressed that all the farmers were now hungry because they no longer go to their farms, adding that even those who go to their cassava farms usually found out that cattle had eaten up their cassava.

Spokesman of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Bright Edafe, who confirmed the story, however, said normalcy has returned to the communities.


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