From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The women of Ikabigbo community in Uzairue Kingdom, Etsako West, Edo State, have asked herdsmen residing in their community to leave, saying their presence has caused destruction to their farms.
The women in their hundreds protested to the palace of the traditional ruler, Chief Braimah Alegeh, to register their displeasure over what they complained as the wanton destruction of their crops and farmland.
The spokesperson for the women, Mrs Rose Ekhalumhe, said the herdsmen have destroyed their farmland and crops with their cattle.
They want to create hunger for us. They will enter our cassava farm, uproot the cassava to feed their cattle and the cattle will destroy the remaining,’ Mrs Ekhalumhe said.
‘Yam barns are not spared in this distruction by herdsmen and their cattle.’
‘We are now afraid to go to the farm because many of us have been beaten up and injured by herdsmen for daring to ask them to stop the destruction of our crops and farmlands.
‘So, we are here to let you know that we are tired of their attrocity, we can’t farm any more and the little one we have cultivated have been destroyed by the herders and their cattle. We want them to leave our land and community. We didn’t give them any land,’ she said.
The women appealed to the state government and security forces to come to their aid so that they can continue to go to farm and avoid hunger.
Responding, Chief Braimah Alegeh assured the women protesters that their grievances would be channeled to the appropriate authorities for action.
‘I have reported the matter to the clan head, Ogieneni of Uzairue, His Royal Highness, Kadiri Omogbai, that I am inundated with the destruction of crops and farmlands by herdsmen in my community and he promised to look into it,’ Chief Alegeh stated.
He said the palace would lodged a former report with the local and state government to intimate them on the activities of the Fulani herdsmen, and that the community has no land for herdsmen and their cattle.
The traditional ruler made an appeal to state Governor Godwin Obaseki to save the community and its people from the herdsmen whom he said want to cause hunger in his community.