Urhobo Indigenes Urge Buhari to Stop Genocidal Killings in Delta

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Dike Onwuamaeze

The Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to stop these genocidal killings of the people in Uwheru Kingdom in Delta State.

The call came at the renewed attacks and killings of Urhobo people at Agadama-Uwheru town in Ugheli North Local Government Area by armed herdsmen. 

A press release issued yesterday by National Publicity Secretary of UPU,   Mr. Abel Oshevire, said that: “We are particularly worried at the allegations that on Saturday, February 15, 2019, men in military uniforms, allegedly on the side of the herdsmen, were deeply involved in this recent saga and shot sporadically at harmless citizens of Agadama-Uwheru, leaving some of them dead or gravely injured.”

 The UPU urged the federal government and military authorities to investigate this allegation, with a view to bringing the security agents and herdsmen involved in this dastardly activity to book.

Oshevire said that a whole community in Uwheru, Avwon, has been taken over by these herdsmen, while all indigenes have fled the place for their lives.

He also said that people have become refugees in other places while families have been displaced and many who escaped the killings through the bush remain missing and unaccounted for.

Other Uwheru communities like Oreba, Owarovwo, Ophororo, Ohoro, Urede among others, which have constantly faced attacks and are often threatened by these herdsmen who openly boast that they will take over these communities unchallenged, have witnessed mass exodus of people due to the ferocity these herdsmen perpetrated their gruesome activities.

“These herdsmen are known to even demand for levies and protection money from our people in Uwheru, who are pursuing their legitimate livelihood of fishing and farming on their ancestral lands. Those who resist these demands have been known to be attacked, raped, maimed or killed by the wicked herdsmen.

“We find it ridiculous, insulting, offensive, unacceptable, unimaginable and disgusting that strangers we took in and accommodated as part of us, and as fellow Nigerians, should turn around to become our tormentors and killers? God forbid. We will no longer condone this,” Oshevire said.

He lamented that for too long the people of Uwheru have chosen the path of peace which, unfortunately, has become their greatest undoing. “The enemies we took in as friends have taken us for cowards. Let it be made categorically clear that the Urhobo nation cannot be conquered. We are a people with a history of independence. In the prevailing circumstances, we might be forced to defend ourselves and our lands if this unprovoked harassment and killings of our people is not halted forthwith,” he said.

He also warned that even though Urhobo people are peace-loving, they would no longer tolerate the nuisance of any unfriendly and troublesome stranger in their community.

He, therefore, pleaded with those who own or are supporting these rampaging herdsmen to call them to order. According to him, the UPU “are saying unequivocally that the Urhobo Nation will never, ever surrender or cede an inch of her territory to any stranger, no matter the situation. The strangers in our land remain strangers and they must respect and obey the laws of the land. We shall no more condone these acts of unprovoked attacks on our people.”

The UPU also warned trouble makers in their land to toe the line of peace and be reminded that the communities have the capacity to defend themselves against any invaders because “we shall not be cowed or intimidated by any group of strangers in our own land. We have remained patient over the years and our patience is fast running out. Enough is Enough!”