By Dennis Eseoghene, Okpariere Diamond & Onovughakpor (IT Students)
Commuters plying the Abraka-Agbor highway were today stranded for over four hours following protests by Abraka and Obiaruku people, both in Ethiope East and Ukwani Local Government Area of Delta State, over the constant killings, maiming and raping of farmers in the area by suspected Fulani herders.
The protesters numbering over 2000 farmers, women and youths took to the streets in protest to condemn constant attacks by herders saying “enough is enough.”
The protesters carrying placards that read: “Okowa stop Fulani Herdsmen”, “Okowa stop the killings now”, “Stop killer herdsmen now, Okowa come to our aid”, “Okowa we say no to Fulani killer herdsmen now” and “Okowa your people are dying”, blocked the every-busy Abraka-Agbor road for over three hours.
The angry farmers chanted songs like ‘Buhari must go’, ‘Okowa must act now,” “We don’t want Fulani herdsmen again,” “Fulani herdsmen must leave our bushes,” etc.
According to Oasis Magazine report, the Chairman of the association of farmers in Abraka/Obiaruku communities, Idigun Duke, said the attack on farmers over the years have become alarming, hence they took to the street to draw government attention to their plight.
“The protest today is all about the killing of our farmers inside the bush and raping and killing our women. Someone will go to the farm and won’t come back home. We have written a petition to the governor and protested to the Delta State House of Assembly. The lawmakers asked us to write a petition to the governor which we did. The governor asked us to forward the petition to the Commissioner of Police which we also did. But, no one wants to help us.
“They said we should live together that Aboki is our friends. But now, friend dey kill friend. They will root our cassava and give it to their cows to eat. Our farmers no more go to farms again. We want to see our governor. Let him come and address us.
“A farmer was killed on Sunday with his two children. They also carried a vigilante into the bush till now they are still looking for him. Another vigilante was shot on his stomach. He is at the hospital for medical attention.”
According to him, the number of farmers so far killed is uncountable, this he says has made many of their people to be hungry because they can no longer go to farm; adding that, “a hungry man is an angry man.
“The whole farmers are now hungry because we no more go to the farm. Even if you go the cassava has been eaten by cows and we are not given compensation.
“We don’t know if we have a governor because if we do, he must come to address us here. We don’t want the DPO and we won’t leave here until we see the governor.
“Our demand is that they should go and clear the bush immediately so farmers can start going to their farms and come back home,” he said.
Speaking further, he said for over a year he has not gone to the farm.
It would be recalled that on Sunday, a farmer, Engr. Mike Egba, resident in Obiaruku while returning from his farm in the area was killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen alongside his son and close relative along Abraka/Benin Road by Oghonogbo farm settlement junction.
Egba was also a staff of Delta Staff University, Abraka, attached to the Physical Planning Unit.