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BREAKING!!! Heavy protest in Benin-Lagos Highway over continuous Fulani herdsmen attacks

Posted by on April 21st, 2022

Demonstrators from ten communities of Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo on Wednesday barricaded the Lagos-Benin Highway to protest incessant attacks by herdsmen.

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) joined in the protest, which lasted for several hours and led to a gridlock on the highway.

The communities lamented that the rampaging Fulani herdsmen often destroyed their farmlands, evicted them forcefully from their ancestral homes and killed their loved ones.

The protesters came from Odiguetue, Ofintebe, Igolo, Okokuo, Abumwenre I and Abumwenre II, Obarenren, Uhiere, Uyimo I and Uyimo II to join in the barricade.

Speaking on behalf of the communities and CSOs, Osagie Obayuwana, a community leader, said they were worried about the looming crisis brewing in the various communities and orchestrated by armed herdsmen.

“We are zeroing in on Ovia North-East communities; about ten communities have been under siege for some time now.

“It is one of the reasons the price of food is rising beyond the reach of even those in the middle class.

“Our people have gone to various relevant government offices to complain, but there has not been any response.

“We don’t want the Benue and Plateau experience where armed herdsmen drive people away from their communities, change the names of the communities and start to occupy the houses to be replicated in Edo,’’ he said.

Osazee Edigin, a representative of Edo State Civil Society Organisations, decried the level of insecurity in Edo communities and noted that it had gone from bad to worse.

“We have seen the high level of insecurity in the state, and we want the state government and law enforcement agencies to rescue the people.

“The government should step in. With no peace in the land, life will not flourish, and the economy will go down,’’ he said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, James Chu, addressed the protesters and appealed for calm assuring that efforts were being made to address the situation.

Mr Chu represented the Commissioner of Police in Edo, Abutu Yaro, to calm the protesters.

“There are critical strategies that are in place to ensure that the excesses of these herdsmen disturbing our villages are monitored and equally checked and stopped.

“I assure you that the police are not resting on this issue. We shall work hands-in-gloves with the communities to ensure the essence of this gathering,’’ Mr Chu said.

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