…Community apprehends one, hands over to Police

…cries out for help, say starvation, hunger loom

…the apprehended suspect is from Ijaw- Police

By Festus Ahon & Ochuko Akuopha, UGHELLI

TENSION has again enveloped the Uwheru Kingdom, Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State, following the invasion of the community’s farmland by ravaging Fulani herdsmen.

This came, as a suspected herder was apprehended by indigenes in a bush in the kingdom and handed over to the police in the Ughelli A division.

Recall that the community sometimes ago came under serious attack by the herdsmen, which led to the loss of lives of indigenes of the community.

The Kingdom in the aftermath of the attacks stopped the consumption of cow meat in the area.

Addressing newsmen on the ordeal of his people, President General of the kingdom, Chief Macpherson Egbedi, said the suspect and other fleeing herders were found destroying their farmlands on Thursday.

He said: “If you can remember when they came last year, they killed 10 people and mass burial was done for them; everyone was aware of it, even the state government was aware and they said they will not come again.

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“This time they have come and started the same way of destroying our crops again, killing people and raping women in the bush.

“We want the government to come to our rescue because there is nothing we can do, they came with their guns and mercenary, there is nothing we can do, we cannot fight, we don’t have the power to fight them.

“Even the one we caught, we brought him as evidence for the government to know that they are already in the bush trying to do the same way they have been destroying crop and killing our people.

“We caught this one with the effort of the entire community and any moment they will overpower everybody and the same destruction take place and starvation. There will be no food, nothing they will do, all the women will stop going to farm, we want the government to come to our aid.

“When they came yesterday (Thursday) they came with over 30,000 cows and you can imagine when 30,0000 cows pass through your farmlands, you will know what they have destroyed.

“They have been coming in batches since last week, they entered through Patani, through our main town here and they have occupied all our bush in Uwheru community.

“We have notified the government about it, the DPO Ughelli A Division is aware, Ughelli Area Commander is aware that Fulani herdsmen have entered our bush again.”

On his part, Secretary Uwheru Traditional Council, Chief Benjamin Ohworeko, said: “Fulani herdsmen issue is a yearly ritual, they come annually and they are here once more.

At the time of filing this report, residents of Port-Avwon, a village in the Uwheru kingdom, were seen fleeing the community over the fear of herdsmen attack.

Contacted, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO in the State Command, Mr Bright Edafe, said no Fulani man was arrested.

He said: “The community reported that they had issues with some herders. During the fracas, the Fulani people ran away abandoning a child.

“They took the child to the police station. On interrogating the child, it was discovered that he was not Fulani but the Ijaw person and they have located the parents of the child and the child was released to them.”

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