*BNC, Esan youths to embark on procession with coffins
*Herdsmen’ve seized 3 communities in Delta — Okowa
*Urges security agencies to tackle menace
By Simon Ebegbulem, Festus Ahon, Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN— Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has ordered the arrest of the bandits responsible for the death of three persons, two adults and a minor in Ugboha, Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State, weekend.
The governor condemned the unwarranted killings by the bandits under the guise of herdsmen, in contravention of government’s directive that cattle should not move in Edo State at night.
Five persons including a first year student of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Collins Ojierakhi, were allegedly killed by herdsmen in Ugboha, Esan South East and Odiguete community in Ovia North East Local Government Areas of Edo state.
Apart from the death, about 12 persons are currently hospitalised at Benin Central Hospital and other private hospitals as a result of the attack by the herdsmen.
Herdsmen have seized 3 communities in Delta—Okowa
Meanwhile, in Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has raised the alarm that three communities in Uwheru, Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state have been occupied by the ravaging herdsmen, charging security agencies to curb the nefarious activities in the state before it snowballs into crisis.
Speaking when Assistant Inspector-General, AIG, in charge of Zone 5, Mr Rasheed Akintunde, paid him a courtesy call, Okowa said “the Uwheru community situation is a very pathetic.”
Obaseki orders arrest of bandits
In Edo State, a statement in Benin City by Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said the governor had ordered that the culprits must be apprehended within seven days.
He said the governor also directed the committee made up of the police, Department of State Services, DSS, and other security agencies to work with members of all associations of cattle dealers and people who have information regarding the activities of the bandits to fish them out within the stipulated period.
He condoled with the families of the victims and pledged his administration’s commitment to the safety and security of all Edo people and residents in the state as well as their property.
The governor appealed to members of the affected communities to keep the peace and rest assured that the culprits will be apprehended and that justice will be served.
BNC, Esan youths to embark on procession with coffins
Meanwhile, Benin National Congress, BNC, a socio-cultural organisation and Esan youths, have vowed to commence procession with coffins this week, to demand what they described as the compulsory arrest of the herdsmen, who killed five persons in different parts of the state, weekend.
BNC Director of Publicity, David Ekomwenrenren, in a statement, said: “We are saying enough is enough. The BNC is going to mobilise our people across the three senatorial districts of the state for a procession with caskets and coffins round Benin metropolis and other major towns in Edo State for seven days until all the perpetrators are arrested and brought to justice.”
On its part, Esan youths in a statement by Donatus Akhere, declared: “We will go all out to hunt for the killers of our three brothers in Esan by herdsmen, one of them a first year student of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. They have been raping our women, killing our people in the farms but enough is enough.”
Herdsmen demand payment from farmers in Delta
Meanwhile, in Delta State, Okowa said: “The president-general of the community spoke on the fact that the farmers are told to pay the herdsmen before they can enter their farms and that is very disturbing because it is strange for indigenes to pay money before they can enter their farms and I believe something has to be done before it degenerates into a major situation.
“This has been going on for several years but it has got worse of recent, so, AIG, this situation has to be addressed immediately as security issue.”