By Ozioruva Aliu – Benin City
There is tension in Edo state as scores of persons with some of them dressed in military uniform and suspected to be Fulani herdsman have reportedly invaded a farming community known as 2nd Abumere Ojigbelu Camp in Ovia Northeast Local Government Area of Edo State and chased the villagers away.
They are also alleged to have taken over their farms, homes and properties.
Some of the villagers who have run away for their lives and now taking refuge in other communities around Okada narrate their ordeal.
The armed men were said to have been chased away from the Okada area from where they ran to near Benin City.
One of the displaced farmers who incidentally is from Taraba State, Mr Mattu Alli, said: I am short of words to explain what I witnessed, yesterday (2nd) in our community.
“I have been here for the past 20 years with my family farming. I was in my compound with my family when we started to hear the sound of guns and people running to different directions, I saw one Benin man running towards my compound.
“I asked him where are you running to and he said herdsmen have taken over the village chasing people away from their houses.
“So I called my wife and we had to run for our lives. I did not see my children. Every one of us ran in different directions. As I speak to you now, I don’t know the whereabouts of my wife and children.
“Another thing that put fears into our minds is that one of the Fulani herdsmen pointed a gun at me and said look man we are for peace, we would only kill you, people, if you refuse to allow our cows to feed on your crops.
“The yams you people have are for our cows, the cassava and all that you have are for our cows. If you people touch our cows we will kill everybody in this village
“For us to be safe we ran to the next community.”
Another victim, Mr Sunday Chimen, said: “Suddenly we heard gunshots and people running, we later discovered that Fulani herdsmen with AK-47 have taken over our community and were threatening to kill us if we didn’t cooperate with them. We decided to run for our dear lives leaving our properties with our children running to an unknown place.
“We are calling on the security agencies to come to our aid as our community is under siege.”
When contacted, Edo State Police Command Public Relations Officer, SP kotongs Bello, said he has not been briefed on the development and promised to get back as soon as he finished speaking with the Division Police Officer in charge of the area, but was yet to do so as at press time.