By Joel Grandball
Women protesters from Edjekota-Ogor, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, yesterday stormed the local government headquarters to demand for the immediate evacuation of Fulani herdsmen from their community following the alleged killing of Mr. Anthony Aria Edjabare by the herders.
The women in their hundreds stormed the council Area with placards carrying inscriptions such as ‘We no go gree, Ogor king we dey your Head, ‘Fulani Go, Area call them to order, ‘Edjekota is not a Cow Zone Federal Government take Note’, ‘Buhari and Okowa call Fulani herdsmen to order amongst others, the women alleged that they are no longer going to their farm for the fear of being raped by Fulani herdsmen.
It would be recalled that last Saturday, a surveillance guard, Mr. Anthony Aria Edjabare, 54, was shot dead by herdsmen who were attempting to rape his wife in his presence.
Some of the protesters who spoke to the Pointer Newspaper, Mrs. Rebecca Ekakite said, “We are protesting today because our farmlands have been occupied by Fulani herdsmen and we are no longer going to farm to fend for ourselves anymore and if the government did not give us a listening ear, we shall go and block the East/West road.
“We want peace in our community so that we can go to our farms and feed our children and we want the government to help us so that they can leave our land because we are dying of hunger on daily basis”. Ekakite pleaded.
Addressing the local government chairman, and the Divisional Police Officer of Ughelli ‘A’ division, Mama Patricia Eyakpuvie said, “We are here on a peaceful demonstration to let the government know our predicament in the hands of the Fulani herdsmen that they have turned our women to widows, our cassava farms to their grazing land.
We have been living in the community from time immemorial and from what we do in our farm, our husbands and children are feed and trained with. But for some time now, Fulani herdsmen now used our farmland as grazing ground leaving our crops and other source of our living totally destroyed.
“As that is not enough, they have also resulted into the killing of our husbands, just last Saturday, Mr. Anthony Aria Edjabare, father of 15 and two wives was killed by them the corpse is at the morgue right now.
“We want all herdsmen in Edjekota-Ogor to leave our land within the next one week or we will have no option than to go and block the East/West road to draw the attention of the federal government.
“Only yesterday, those that went to farm were chased from farm by herdsmen and now no woman dares go to the farm for the fear of being raped. There is sorrow and hunger in the land because of Fulani people.
Responding, the chairman of Ughelli North, Godwin Adode express worries and sadness over the killing of Mr. Anthony Aria and the continued activities of the suspected herdsmen.
Adode said, “The local government in collaboration with security agents are doing their best to bring to book the suspected killer herdsmen, that the state governor is aware of what they are going through.
“We have called for emergency security meeting of all community chairmen in the local government to find a lasting solution to the menace posed by the suspected herdsmen and within the next one week, the issue would be resolved”. The council boss said.