Herdsmen have taken over our communities

Worried by the rising insecurity in the country and the state in particular, over herdsmen attacks on its  communities, the Delta State House of Assembly, yesterday, passed a resolution urging Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the state to prevail on security agencies to beef up security in Aniocha North Local Government Area and other affected councils.

This came as herdsmen have reportedly killed a 58 year old member of a vigilante group in Ondo town, Ondo State, by name Kasali Ajeigbe. Meanwhile, the  police in Bayelsa State have arrested two suspected herdsmen for allegedly attempting to disarm a policeman.

The incident occurred Tuesday morning at the Flyover area of Azikoro Road in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state, one of the ‘non grazing’ zones within the state capital. In another development, the death toll in the recent attack on Waya community in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State by suspected armed herdsmen had risen to nine with the recovery of five more corpses in the river and bushes in the community while the search for several other missing persons is said to be ongoing.

Meanwhile,  the people of Abraka kingdom in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State have raised the alarm over claims of renewed attacks by suspected armed herdsmen on their communities.

This came as students of Federal College of Education, Obudu, Cross River State,  allegedly shot dead Mr Gabriel Amawu, a Divisional Police Officer in charge of Obudu division in northern Cross River State. The incident took place on Tuesday night, when the students said to be from the College  in conjunction with village hoodlums went to  rescue some students arrested and detained at the station.

Also in Calabar, the owner of Amber  Night Club/karaoke lounge, Akeem Ibrahim and a lawyer with the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, simply identified as Mrs Ekanem, have been kidnapped by gunmen.

Delta communities are under siege

Delta Assembly Moving a motion under matters of urgent public importance, the member representing Aniocha North constituency, Mr Emeka Nwaobi, which was seconded by the member representing Ika South, Mr Festus Okoh, and adopted after debate by members, noted the incessant attacks on the people of Aniocha North by suspected herdsmen.

He explained that huge ransoms were paid to secure the release of the victims, while others are still in captivity, lamenting that Issele-Azagba community was the worst hit by the herdsmen, who have killed, maimed and rapped people in the area as well as denied them access to their farmlands.

In their separate contributions, the House Majority Leader, Tim Owhefere, Deputy Majority Leader, Oboro Preyor, Chief Whip, Pat Ajudua, the member representing Ndokwa West, Charles Emetulu and the member representing Ika South, Festus Okoh, recounted the havoc wrecked by herdsmen in communities across the state and called for concerted efforts to prevent further killings of innocent Deltans.

They alleged that herdsmen have made life unbearable for people in the state, stressing that some communities, including Obi-Ayima, Issele-Azagba, Uwheru were under siege by herdsmen. They lamented that people no longer go to their farms in the affected communities for fear of being held captive by the herders.

Abraka community raise alarm over renewed attacks by herdsmen

Meanwhile in Abraka Kingdom in Ethiope council, Delta State, President General of Abraka Kingdom, Chief Emmanuel Idogho, giving statistics of the recent attacks in the kingdom, said two persons have been killed in the last one month while a woman was raped by persons suspected to be herdsmen in her farm.

He said: “We are still under siege by armed herdsmen in Abraka, particularly in the Ovre’Abraka area which plays host to a large expanse of area used for farming by farmers in the area, including some from Obiaruku community.

“Last Monday,  one of our sons was attacked by the herdsmen, who inflicted machete life threatening cuts on him in his farm. He was lucky to have been rescued by a good Samaritan, who called the attention of others and he was taken to the Abraka General Hospital, where he is currently receiving medical attention.

“In the month of February, we recorded numerous attacks by herdsmen with one of such cases resulting to the death of one person, who is an indigene of Obiaruku. The incident happened at the Abraka farm reserve area.

“Also, a man who had gone to his farm in company of his wife, escaped death in his farm during an attack on them by the herdsmen, fortunately for his wife, she survived the attack but unluckily for her, the herdsmen took turns to rape her after which they left her in the farm and fled the scene of the incident.”

Suspected herdsmen slit throat of vigilante group member in Ondo

Speaking with newsmen, brother of the deceased, Saheed Ajeigbe explained that the deceased was overpowered by the herdsmen, who killed him by slitting his throat with knife.

Saheed said, “My late brother went to his duty post and when he was returning home and waiting for taxi by the road, he was attacked. “Some herdsmen, who were being chased by some policemen from Oke-igbo where they went to rob attacked him and slit his throat with their knife. “Policemen came and rushed him to the hospital where he was confirmed dead and his lifeless body deposited at the mortuary.”

Contacted, the state police image maker, Tee-Leo Ikoro, said,  the command had commenced investigation into the matter, adding that there was no proof that the man was killed by herdsmen.

5 more corpses recovered from river, bushes in Benue community

Speaking to Vanguard yesterday, on telephone, the Kindred Head of Nzoov, Zaki Aluka, through his son Victor said, the recovered corpses had been deposited at the morgue of NKST Hospital Jato Aka. He said, “Just on Tuesday, the herdsmen attempted to come into Waya again but they were stopped by security personnel. “From what we were told by those who narrowly escaped being killed, the herdsmen were well armed with sophisticated weapons and they were all very tall people, very dark in complexion and they all spoke French.

“As we speak, Waya community has been deserted as women, children and the elderly particularly have all fled to neighbouring Jato Aka for safety. “When they struck, initially they burnt several houses, huts and farmland at Mbaav village and the entire community has also been deserted. “If you recall immediately after that attack, we were able to recover four corpses but many of our people are still missing. We are going ahead with the search because in some cases, we recovered the shirts of the missing persons but couldn’t find the individuals.

“So, we are continuing with the search which has led to the recovery of five more corpses in the bushes and the river yesterday and with the likelihood of more recoveries though, we hope we will recover everyone alive,” he added.

When contacted, state Police Public Relations Officer,  Catherine Anene, who confirmed that the command had deployed its personnel to the community to prevent further attacks said, she was yet to receive update from the personnel on ground.

2 herdsmen arrested over allege attempt to disarm policeman in Bayelsa In Yenagoa, a sergeant identified as Charles Biweribo, was attacked at his duty post at the uncompleted Tower Five Star Hotel while trying to stop some herdermen from grazing their cows in the area. Spokesman of the state Police Command, Asinim Butswat yesterday, in Yenagoa confirmed the arrest.

He said: “On Tuesday at 0700 hours,  one Dautra Abakara and one Agonto Gimta amongst others, entered the premises of a leading construction company’s yard at the uncompleted Basket Tower Hotel, Azikoro, with cows for grazing.

“The policemen on duty and civilian guards asked them to leave the premises, the herders refused to leave.  In an attempt to arrest them, one  of the herdsmen tried to disarm a policeman, the officer’s cocked rifle exploded and the bullet hit his right foot.

“The suspects,  one Abakara and Gimta were arrested and detained for further Investigation.” Students shoot DPO dead in C’ River A source in the area who preferred anonymity  told Vanguard, “Some youths and students of the  College were celebrating an end to their examinations when Amawu, suspecting criminal activity, made some arrests which degenerated into a protests by the students.”

The students then mobilised and went to the station to protest the arrest of their colleagues but in the ensuing confusion, the DPO was shot. Irene Ugbo, state Public Relations Officer said, the “DPO was shot right in his office by people suspected to be students of Federal College of Education, Obudu” Irene said some of the suspects were  in the police  custody while the remains of Amawu have been evacuated.

Gunmen kidnap Club owner, Lawyer in Calabar

Vanguard learned that Akeem was picked up by the gunmen Monday night at Ibom Layoiut as his vehicle was  abandoned near Liberty Gospel Church, while the female lawyer was abducted at School Road in Satalite town, Calabar. It was learned that Akeem was whisked away while in his SUV  with  registration number ‘AAA127GB,’ while the female lawyer was abducted while leaving her residence to work. A source who pleaded anonymity said, she was abducted while she was going to work.

“She was trying to lock the gate behind her as she was heading to work in her SUV, when some guys came and whisked her away. “They are demanding N30million for her release because they believed that her husband, who was recently given an appointment, has money,” the source said.

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the kidnap of Akeem said, “I am aware that a night club owner was kidnapped but we can assure the public that we are on top of the situation. We are doing everything possible to rescue him. “And for the female lawyer, I have not been briefed, if there is any update on it, I will let you know. We are not resting on our oars, we are working round the clock to hunt down these criminals,” she said.

(The Vanguard)