Fulani herdsman armed with AK47 rifles and dressed in military uniform have taken over 2nd Abumere Ojigbelu Camp, in Ovia Northeast Local Government Area of Edo State.
The herdsmen invaded the farming community on Sunday, January 2, 2022, chased away the villagers and took over their farmlands, homes and properties.
Most of the villagers have resorted to taking refuge in neighboring communities following the invasion.
Narrating his ordeal, Mattu Alli, one of the victims who hails from Taraba State, said; “I lack words to explain what I witness in our community. I have been here for over 20 years with my family and we farm. I was in my compound with my family having a good time when we started hearing gunshots and saw people running in different directions.
“I saw one Benin man running towards my compound, I asked him where he was running to and he said herdsmen have taken over the village chasing people away from their houses. So I called my wife and we ran 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.
“One of the Fulani herdsmen pointed a gun at me and said they were for peace. He said they would only kill people if they refused to allow their cows to feed on their crops. ‘The yams and cassava you people 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: “I have been in this village for over 20 years farming. What we saw surprised us. We heard gunshots and people running in all directions. We later discovered that Fulani Herdsmen had taken over our community with sophisticated AK 47 and threatened to kill us if we didn’t cooperate with them.
“For us to stay alive, we decided to run for our dear lives leaving our properties and running to unknown places. We are calling on the security agencies to come to our aid as our community is under siege.”
On her part, Mrs Ngozi Chimen, another victim said: “The nefarious activities of these Fulani herdsmen have been going on in our community for the last two months.
“They entered into our farms, chased us away and harvest our plantain to feed their cows. You dare not look at their faces. Some of them were in Army uniform. We need help, we need government assistant.”
The Edo State Police Command Public Relations Officer, SP Kotongs Bello, said he was yet to be briefed on the development as of press time.