Asaba – While the dust raised by the killing of three persons in Abraka/Isiokolo, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, by suspected Fulani herdsmen was yet to settle, three farmers were allegedly murdered weekend on their way to the farm by herdsmen in Owah-Abbi village in Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state.
Other Ukwuani communities like Obiaruku, Ossisa, Ndemili, Ogume, and Onitcha Ukwuani to mention but a few, have come under similar attacks in the recent past, with scores of deaths and injuries.
Findings by Daily Independent confirmed that Fulani herdsmen and farmers in these communities have recently been on warpath.
Rather than grazing their cattle on open grassland, the herdsmen now prefer grazing in people’s farms, thus destroying crops and other plants that the farmers have laboured to cultivate during the year.
According to the findings, the herders now harass and kill farmers even without provocation because they are armed while the farmers are not.
The Ukwuani Social Improvement League (USIL), a socio-cultural organisation in Delta State in a statement on Sunday by its Chairman, Chidi Uwabuofu, has decried what it termed the “incessant killings” of Ukwuani farmers by herdsmen.
He warned that the community was gradually losing its patience with government’s lacklustre approach in handling these occurrences in Ukwuani land, saying if the attacks were allowed to continue, its people might be left with nothing.
“Just few days ago, specifically on the 9th of April, 2019, three of our hardworking youths from Owah-Abbi in Ukwuani LGA were gunned down on their way to their respective farms by herdsmen,” Uwabuofu said.
He wondered why the government had not taken drastic action to halt the killings, and described the Ukwuani people as peace-loving and law-abiding who depend on subsistence farming to survive and grow economically.
“The frequent killing of Ukwuani farmers, the decimation of their farmlands and products by killer herdsmen is becoming increasingly worrisome and this is obviously at variance with the rationale for instituting government,” he said.
He called on the Federal Government to immediately disarm all herdsmen operating in Ukwuani land, noting that “the reason why they (herders) keep taking undue advantage over our (Ukwuani) people is because they seemingly have the backing to be armed while our people do not have.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, could not be reached to comment on the latest development.