By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – NOT less than five persons and several others were maimed as suspected criminal herdsmen attacked Odiguetue, an agrarian community in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State.
A villager told journalists on Saturday that the attack and killing happened on Thursday and that members of the community have constituted themselves into vigilance groups to protect themselves.
It was gathered that the herdsmen, who had about a month ago, attacked security personnel in the locality and burnt down a patrol van, came back on Thursday morning to unleash mayhem on the locals, who for sometime had been resisting the headers from feeding their cows with the farm produce of the villagers.
But the Police Public Relations Officer, Bello Kontongs is yet to confirm the incident but a community leader, Lt. Commander Anthony Ogie (Rtd), said: “for sometime now, the herdsmen have been harassing us. You can’t go to the farm anymore because of them. Last week, around 7pm, they came close to the houses, shooting but when the people came out, they went back to the bush”.
“Then on Thursday, people were on their farms when the herdsmen came and killed three people. That was in the morning. Later in the evening, they came again and killed two more but this time on the expressway. There is a police check point on the highway. The police saw them but didn’t do anything.
“Anytime the herdsmen come , we usually call the police and soldiers, who will come but will not go into the bush where these herdsmen have their camps, even when the villagers volunteer to lead the security men. Odiguetue is a peaceful community. How can you do this to a people who are peaceful and who go about their normal businesses”?. Ogie lamented.
Also speaking, another community leader, Elder John Osagiede, said that he got the information that the village was going to be attacked and tried to reach the authorities to no avail.