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Eight local government areas in Delta State comes under attack by herdsmen

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No fewer than eight Delta Local Government Council Areas are currently under siege following resumed killings by rampaging Fulani herdsmen.

In the last two years, reports indicated that fifty-two persons were allegedly killed in cold blood by suspected herdsmen who as a result of “minor disagreement” with their host communities, unleashed terrors on the people.

Investigation revealed that Ndokwa East, Ethiope East, Ndokwa West, Ukwuani, Oshimili North, Isoko North, South, and Aniocha South Councils’ areas have been worst affected as the fear of the unknown has also continued to unsettle the people.

One of the leaders of the host communities, Mr. Ossai Francis who spoke to DAILY POST, however renewed calls on the state government and security agents to redouble proactive measures with a view to putting an end to the situation, saying that the people currently sleep with their two eyes open.

Mr. Ossai recounted bitter experiences in the hands of the herdsmen in the last few weeks, disclosing that over thirteen communities within the host communities are now desolate for fear of the continued killings.

He said: “We now live at the mercy of God, we sleep with our two eyes open, something must be done to help us”. But the state government’s efforts at guaranteeing peaceful co-existence among farmers/herdsmen in the state, seemingly had broken down.

At a recent stakeholders’ meeting with the theme, “promoting peaceful co-existence among farmers”, the state government at the end of the meeting, issued a 7 paragraph communiqué, signed by representatives of traditional rulers, farmers, local communities, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Muslim community, Miyetti Allah group and the Secretary to the state government, (SSG) Mr. Ovie Festus Agas.

It was gathered that few days after the agreement reached by all the parties concerned, two persons (names withheld) were alleged to have been killed in their farm lands by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Kwale community; a situation that had triggered further fear of the unknown.

Besides, the agreement communiqué, a copy made available to Daily POST, enjoined the federal government to take steps to disarm, and mop up illegal arms build-up by suspected Fulani herdsmen across the country with the issue of herdsmen/farmers’ clashes currently on the front burner of security concerns, hundreds of farmers have lost their lives across the country, while many have been dissuaded from going to their farms, a major source of their survival.

Speaking to Daily POST in Asaba at a recent media parley, the Police Commissioner in the state, Muhammadu Mustafa warning that any Fulani herdsmen caught with arms would be treated as criminals, said, “We have resolved at the security council’s meeting that any Fulani herdsman caught with arms would be treated as criminals. It is unfortunate that the peace path may have broken down, but measures are ongoing to bring the attackers to book, we have arrested several suspected attackers, we will ensure anybody who will cause mayhem will be brought to book, for now there is relative peace and all the flash points are being taken care of. We will do our best to maintain law and order in the state, we commend the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa for his commitment to ensure that there is peace in the state and we are working in collaboration with the state government as security agents to bring all criminals to book.”

Daily Post

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