March 10, 2017

Residents confirm alleged helicopter supplies to herdsmen in Delta community

armed herdsmen

Armed herdsmen

By Emma Amaize & Perez Brisibe

ABRAKA— RESIDENTS of Abraka community, Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday, corroborated the claim that unknown persons in military camouflage were, indeed,      making strange supplies with helicopters to herdsmen at a barren region of Ovre-Abraka village, saying they were scared at the development.

The lawmaker representing Ethiope East in the state House of Assembly, Mr. Evance Ivwurie, had raised the alarm recently over alleged supplies by an unidentified helicopter to herdsmen at Ovre-Abraka.

Armed Fulani-herdsmen

When Vanguard visited the community, yesterday, spokesperson of one of the communities, Efe Samuel, confirmed that the people were panicky over the supplies, adding: “Yes, we have seen helicopters flying around in that area, but their objective is what I do not understand.”

“Most of the times, the helicopters normally land inside the desert area. There are two helicopters with different colours. One of them is painted in green army colour, just like the herdsmen, most of whom are dressed in military camouflage and armed with rifles. Though I cannot give much details on their operations inside the desert area because as you know, we do not stay there, but only go there to hunt and farm, these herdsmen also use motorcycles in patrolling the area most of the times and they shoot at anyone who questions them,” he said.

A farmer in the area, Victor Erherha, said it was common knowledge in the community that some persons were using helicopters to make supplies to herdsmen occupying a desert area of Ovre-Abraka.

Erherha, however, said he had not sighted the helicopters himself, adding.    “They also use trailers to transport things into the area and they normally brandish guns on the face of the farmers in the area. I have personally fallen victim to their attack sometime ago.”

Accusing security agents of conspiracy, the farmer said: “There is a synergy between the Alhajis and some security agents, who have the phone numbers of some top officers.

“In the event of any arrest, these Alhajis, who have contacts with the security agencies facilitate bail for the herdsmen.”