Tony Osauzo, Benin
Suspected herdsmen have reportedly killed a farmer in Owan community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
A brother to the farmer was also said to be hit by bullets fired by the herdsmen.
The farmer, whose identity is yet to be ascertained, was said to have been killed last Saturday, forcing the community to call in the police to help retrieve the body. The herdsmen were said to have fired at the police and allegedly killed one of the officers in the melee.
Following the killing, the community members blocked the Benin-Akure highway to protest the killings and sought government attention to the crisis.
Consequently, motorists plying the road were stranded for several hours that the protest lasted.
One of the protesters, who gave his name as Moses, said herdsmen in the bush have been killing and raping women in their community, as well as destroying their crops.
”They killed our person in the bush. We called in the police so that we can retrieve the body but they attacked again and killed a policeman. The government should come to our aid.
”Herdsmen are terrorising us. We need help so that we can go to our farms,” Moses said.
Commenting on the incident, a spokesman for the Edo State Police Command, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, said the policeman did not die.
He said the policeman and other injured persons are receiving treatment in the hospital adding that investigations have commenced.
Similarly, farmers at Igbanke community in Orhionmwon local government also protested the destruction of their crops by herdsmen.
The farmers, who protested to Benin City, said they could no longer enter their farms.
They alleged that yams, cassava and other crops were used to feed cows after which the farmlands are set ablaze by the herdsmen to enable fresh grass to grow.
”We are afraid. We cannot take laws into our hands. We don’t have plantain, yams and others again. We are now hungry. Fulani herdsmen take their cows to eat our produce”, an elder of Iganke, Mr James Iguando, said.
Police spokesman, DSP Nwabuzor said the police have received the petition on the issue and are working on the matter.