From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Following reported Fulani herdsmen invasion of 2nd Abumere Ojigbelu Camp in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State, the State Police Command and 4 Brigade Nigerian Army, yesterday, deployed personnel to restore peace in farming community.
Suspected Fulani herdsmen dressed in military uniform were reported to have on Sunday morning chased away villagers and take over their farms.
The Police led by Assistant Commissioner of Police, A .S Wase in a joint operation with soldiers from the 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Benin City, led by Major A.J Isa, conducted an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.
Speaking to journalists after the assessment, spokesman of the Police Command, SP Kontongs Bello, said the joint force has gone around the area, to see for themselves and that there was no house burnt, nobody was killed nor raped.
He said the suspected herdsmen came to the community and told them to bring their vigilante men and their guns, but the villagers told them that they don’t have any guns, but were shooting fireworks during the Yuletide period.
Bello explained that the herdsmen instructed them not to ring their security bell nor use the fireworks again claiming that it is a disturbance to their cows.
“We want to assure the community and all residents of Edo State that the situation is under control. The State Government after seeing the report online sent the delegation to assure those from Edo State, Delta State, and those from the North that they should go about their normal business because the joint team is there to maintain peace and order”, he added.
But the herdsmen have resurfaced in the commnity, according to Mr. Pius Osai, 54, a farmer, who hails from Delta State.
He told journalists that the herdsmen came back yesterday morning from where they ran to and when he got to his farm, he saw a young Fulani Herder, grazing his cows in his cassava farm.
“As I came this morning with my wife, we saw a Fulani boy inside my farm. He asked what I was doing here and I told him this is my farm. He said the cassava belongs to their cow, plantain belongs to them, and the cocoa belongs to us. I told my wife let us go home because our life is important”, he said.
On his part, the village head, Solomon Omoragbon, who lives in Benin City, said he was told that some herdsmen came on Sunday and ordered them to bring their vigilantes and guns, but they told them they have no guns, they asked about the sounds they hear, but they were told the sound was from fireworks.
“Then they (herdsmen) ordered them not to shoot the fireworks again and that they should go and call him (the village head) but the youths told them, that he is not around”, Omoragbon stated.