Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Residents of Abavo, a largely agrarian community in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, have raised alarm over attacks by gun-wielding men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
The residents say that they have been deprived of their means of livelihood as they can no longer go to their farms for fear of being killed, kidnapped, tortured, maimed or raped by the marauding herdsman.
A community source told Daily Sun in Asaba, the state capital, that for the past three months, residents have not been able to access their farms, adding that their yam harvests have been seized by the herders to feed their cattle.
The fear-stricken residents called on the federal, state and local governments to come to their aid by declaring a state of emergency on the town in order to avoid a total breakdown of law and order.
Reacting to the development, the traditional ruler of the community, Obi Uche Irenuma II, confirmed the herdsmen invasion, disclosing that the whereabouts of two of his subjects have remained unknown after they were allegedly kidnapped along Obianyima-Okpe road.
Obi Irenuma in a statement said that tensions have heightened in his domain as a result of the unwholesome activities of herdsmen.
Apart from converting harvested yams to food for cattle, the monarch added that the herders have allegedly used their cattle to destroy other economic crops.
He lamented that the herdsmen have acted contrary to a peace deal reached in a recent stakeholders’ meeting where they had pledged to be of good conduct.
Obi Irenuma appealed to the state government, the state police command and other security agencies to quickly intervene and save the community and his subjects from being overrun by the marauders.
He alleged that the herders were operating more than seven camps in Obianyima, Ekwuoma, Azuowa and Oyoko communities in his kingdom.