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Tension brews in Delta community over herdsmen killings

By Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt), Owen Akenzua (Asaba) and Saxone Akhaine (Kaduna)   |   03 May 2017   |   4:33 am  

Fulani Herdsmen


• Ooni urges caution
• Kaduna lifts curfew in councils

There was palpable apprehension in Urhouka Community, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State following the alleged murder of a middle-age man by suspected Fulani herdsmen on his farm land in the early hours of yesterday.

The grouse of the Fulani herdsmen was that the insecticide the deceased sprayed on his crops allegedly caused the death of some of their cows which grazed on the farm.

This made the herdsmen to descend angrily on the man who allegedly engaged on verbal exchange.But the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Andrew Aniamaka who confirmed the incident, said investigations were ongoing with a view to arresting the killers.

He however, stated that preliminary investigation revealed that farmers in the area have abandoned their farm lands for fear of attacks, and have called on the state government to come to their aid.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Charles Aniagwu said the state government has strengthened security agencies as alternative measures to ensure that the lives of residents were protected, adding that the measures would end the herdsmen’s killings in the state.

Also, residents of Ovre-Eku Community in Delta State allegedly displaced by hired thugs of Presco Oil Company Plc have called on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to intervene as they not destroyed their property but also carted them away.

But Presco Relations Manager, Tony Uwajeh dispelled the allegations as untrue saying that Presco was a responsible company that would not stoop so low to harm the indigenes of its host communities.

Meanwhile, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan yesterday advised Nigerians to treat the menace of herdsmen with caution and urged everyone to continue to live in peace and harmony. He told journalists in Port Harcourt that the issue must be handled carefully because herdsmen play a pivotal role in the country’s economy.

His words: “You can see that meat is a necessity for us. Everybody eats meat because of its protein and fibre content. This is a very sensitive thing and as a result of this, we should apply a lot of caution.”

Meanwhile, barely two weeks after the launch of military operation Harbin Kunama II meant to curb the crisis precipitated by Fulani herdsmen killings in Southern Kaduna communities, the curfew imposed by the state government in two local council areas has been lifted.

The Kaduna State Security Council (KSSC) yesterday announced the lifting of the curfew in Jema’a and Kaura local government areas, following its weekly meeting. The curfew in Zangon Kataf local government area was earlier removed.

A statement by the Media aide to the Governor, Samuel Aruwan said the council security meeting received and reviewed reports from the security agencies which pointed to improvements in the security situation.

Also in Calabar, the Coalition of Eastern NGOs (CENGOs) and Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) in collaboration with Amplify Change have decried the alarming rate of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the country, saying thousands of children and women were affected yearly.

They therefore, called on the Federal Government to end the violence as they frowned on the poor state of budgetary allocations and funding in the states of the old Eastern region to tackle issues of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and GBV of young persons and women.

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Herdsmen


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