Suspected Fulani herdsmen have resumed hostility on Issele-Uku/Ubulu-Uku Road, in Aniocha North and South Local Government Areas of Delta State, reports say.
It was gathered that on Saturday evening a driver of a vehicle was shot dead on the road, with four other occupant believed to have been abducted by the suspected herdsmen. The attack came barely a few hours after another another attack on a man and daughter were attacked, the man sustaining matchete injuries, while his daughter was abducted.
In the previous attack, local vigilantes gave chase to the abductors as soon as they got news of the attack and kidnap of the little girl.
The herdsmen were said to have fled and abandoned the girl who was rescued by the vigilantes.
Her father, a teacher, is currently in a critical condition as a result of the machete cuts he received from his attackers.
A few hours after that attack, the suspected herdsmen struck again, shooting a motorist and abducting four other occupants of the vehicle.
A source, identified as Emordi, told Sunday Sun that “an elderly man has been shot dead in a blue coloured Toyota Corolla by suspected Fulani herdsmen, along Issele-Uku/Ubulu Uku Road, and other occupants of the vehicle are missing. From indications, they were returning from the burial ceremony of Late Mr Alexander Iwedike Banye, from Umuolo Quarters, Onicha Ugbo, near Issele-Uku.
“A driver’s license found in the car by the police and vigilante members has the identity of Ikeatogbe Eric of number 39, Oletukovie Street, Ikprukpru, Ughelli.”
As at time of this report, the number of person(s) involved in the casualty is not certain, because there was no witness to give a clear account of the incident as the occupants of the vehicle were abducted.
The Ubulu-Uku and Issele-Uku communities have however appealed to the Delta State Government and the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke, to declare a state of emergency on the road.
Chukwukamadu Okolie, a local resident, said: “We are making a passionate appeal to our Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, and the State Commissioner of Police to declare the road a security risk. They should declare a state of emergency on the road and deploy adequate police personnel on the road. Christmas is fast approaching and that is the only route that connects many communities. We are pleading with the government and the police to do something drastic to curb the evil actions of the herders.”
Mike Mordi, another local, said: “Remember that during raining season, the herdsmen would not be able to walk in the bush properly because of the rain. Second, the leaves are evergreen during raining season, so the herdsmen would not bother to look for food for their cattle, but during dry season, the bushes will be driy and it will be easy to walk in the bush… the herdsmen will return and start looking for food for their cattle. I think the killing will increase this period of dry season. We want the security agencies to intensify patrols on the road. More so, the police should team up with the vigilante groups in the communities to comb the bush and chase the herdsmen away.
“We should not fold our arms and watch helplessly as strangers from the North are killing us and collecting ransom in our land. We should use everything available to resist them. We should comb our bushes and chase them away. We should also place a curse on anyone or families who harbour the herdsmen in our communities. Everybody should be vigilant and report any suspicious movement in his or her area. Please, be guided accordingly,” said the concerned citizen.
Only a few months ago, three persons, including a medical doctor, had lost their lives to suspected Fulani herdsmen in the area. No arrests have been made in that incident.