Tony Osauzo, Benin
Six persons have been reportedly killed in different parts of Edo State by suspected herdsmen and rival cult groups.
In Odighi community in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state, two farmers were allegedly killed yesterday morning.
Daily Sun learnt that they had gone to the farm to source for food for their families but unknown to them, the armed men ambushed and shot them to death.
A witness, Hilary Omoregie, who narrated the incident yesterday, said: “I am from Odiguetue, a neibghouring community to Odighi and I was going to my village this morning (yesterday) when I saw people gathered around the dead bodies.
“The two of them, an Igbira farmer and the other an Urhobo man, were going to their farm when they were ambushed and shot by suspected herdsmen. They have been troubling us, people don’t go to farms again because of these attacks.”
The two bodies of the farmers were said to have been evacuated by police from Ekiadolor Police Division. Also, four other persons have been reportedly killed since Easter Sunday during clashes between members of Eiye and Black Axe confraternities.
One of the victims, a young man, was allegedly shot dead on Tuesday night at Ugbague Lane by suspected rival cult members while another, a youth leader in Ward 12 of Oredo Local Government Area, reportedly escaped death when his assailants also believed to be rival cult groups came for him.
On Easter Sunday, a young man was reportedly trailed and shot while going to have his bath while on Monday night, two persons were reportedly killed in Egor Local Government Area in two separate locations along Benin Technical College (BTC) Road and Universal junction along Medical Stores Road.
One of the victims identified as Odion, who is an auto mechanic, was reportedly shot dead in his workshop at Benin Technical College (BTC) Road while the identity of the other victim killed at Universal junction could not ascertained.
The assailants allegedly stormed the workshop in a red Toyota Camry car, shot the victim and immediately zoomed off.
In his reaction, the state Commissioner of Police, Lawan Jimeta, said the two farmers were hunters who went to the bush the previous night and their bodies were discovered yesterday morning. He said that investigation has commenced on the incident.
On the cult killings, he said he was yet to be briefed but that some persons have been arrested by the anti-cultism unit.
Meanwhile, an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has condemned the attacks on farmers in rural communities across the state by herders, with the recent being the
murder of two farmers in Ovia North East Local Government Area.
Besides, Ize-Iyamu expressed concern over the rising insecurity in the
state characterized by coordinated attacks on persons of interests without
adequate investigation or prosecution, proliferation of arms and attacks
on rural dwellers in farms. He described that as factors that aid the outbreak of violence and threatens the peace, security and development of the state.