Tension in Delta as suspected herders attack community
Some residents of Port-Avwon, a village in Uwheru Kingdom in Ughelli North Local Council of Delta State, yesterday, fled the community as suspected herders attacked them over farmland, allegedly raping their women and destroying their crops.
Following the invasion of the community by the suspected herders, tension and confusion enveloped the area, forcing them to flee to neighbouring communities to take refuge.
The Guardian, however, learnt that a suspected herder was apprehended by the indigenes in a bush in the area and handed over to the police in the Ughelli A Division.
President General of the kingdom, Chief Macpherson Egbedi, told journalists that the suspect and other fleeing herders were found destroying their farmlands last Thursday.
He said: “If you can remember when they came last year, they killed 10 people and mass burial was done for them; everyone was aware of it. Even the state government was aware and they said they would not come again.
“This time they have come and started the same way of destroying our crops again, killing people and raping women in the bush.
“We want the government to come to our rescue because there is nothing we can do. They came with their guns and mercenary. There is nothing we can do. We cannot fight; we don’t have power to fight them.
“Even the one we caught, we brought him as an evidence for the government to know that they are already in the bush trying to go the same way of destroying crops and killing our people.
“We caught this one with the effort of the entire community and any moment they will overpower everybody and the same destruction will take place and starvation will set in. There will be no food; all the women will stop going to farm. We want the government to come to our aid.
“When they came on Thursday, they came with over 30,000 cows and you can imagine when 30,000 cows pass through your farmlands. You will know what they have destroyed.
“We have notified the government about it. The DPO of Ughelli A Division is aware. Ughelli Area Commander is aware that Fulani herdsmen have entered our bush again.”
Also, the Secretary, Uwheru Traditional Council, Chief Benjamin Ohworeko, said: “Fulani herdsmen issue is a yearly ritual. They come annually and they are here once more”.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Bright Edafe, denied any knowledge of any Fulani herder being held by the police.
“The community reported that they had issues with some herders. During the fracas, the Fulani people ran away abandoning a child, and the child was taken to the police station. But on interrogation, it was discovered that he was not Fulani but Ijaw,” he said.