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Herdsmen take over Edo community, say only need crops for cows



Armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have taken over a farming community in Edo state telling residents they mean no harm except to feed their cows with their crops.

Residents of the community, 2nd Abumere Ojigbelu Camp in Ovia Northeast  Local Government Area are currently taking refuge in neighbouring communities with some families separated.

A victim, Mattu Alli, who said he hailed from Taraba state while narrating his ordeal 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 in 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”.

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Some of the villagers have run away for their lives and now taking refuge in other communities around Okada narrates their ordeal.

“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, 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.” 

The Edo State Police Command Public Relations Officer, SP Kotongs Bello, however, said he has not been briefed on the development and promised to get back to the media soonest.

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