- State SSG caught up in resultant gridlock
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Hundreds of protesters made up mainly of women on Monday barricaded the Asaba-Ughelli expressway to express their anger over incessant attacks by herdsmen, which had allegedly led to the death of at least two persons in the last few days.
The protesters from Ossissa, an agrarian community in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State, claimed that they resorted to the public demonstration as efforts to get the government to halt the invasion of their community and farmlands had yielded no results.
They described Sunday’s attack by the herdsmen and alleged wounding of three persons, two of them fatally, as the last straw that broke the camel’s back as the women decided to take up the gauntlet by protesting and barricading the highway for effect.
The women said that they took the responsibility upon themselves so as to prevent security operatives from possibly framing their husbands and young men as criminals to be mowed down on the flimsiest excuse if the men led the protest.
The protesters lamented that the lawless activities of the cattle herders have kept many people away from their farms as the strangers not only herd their animals into people’s farms by also attack youths and sometimes rape women in their farms.
One of the women, Mrs. Grace Oliseyeun said, “The herdsmen have invaded our community and have been constantly harassing the women and youths; now, we can no longer go to our farms for fear of being attacked. They have been very hostile and have actually put the life of everyone in danger.”
Similarly, an Ossissa community youth leader, Mr Chris Ebisue, observed, “For the past three days, these Fulani herdsmen have been terrorizing us and before yesterday, they killed one young man on his way from his farm.
“They have been attacking our people and denying them access to their farms. They threaten our women and they no longer go to their farms for fear of being raped. They came to the centre of our town the day before yesterday (Saturday) issuing threats to our people and wounded Mr Azuka Okwutu and Chukwuemeka Nwane.”