19th February, 2021
By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Relatives of victims of the latest herdsman killings in Ovia north-east local government area of Edo state, on Thursday evening carried a corpse of one of the seven people murdered in the locality by suspected herdsmen to the Governor’s Office in Benin City.
The protesters in their hundreds, drawn from the Yoruba Camp and other communities in the locality, gave the state government a three-day ultimatum to address the problem of insecurity in the area and secure lives and property.
The said that they brought the corpse to the government house because police at the Ekiadolor police division only told them to go and deposit the body in the mortuary.
The protesters said they had experienced several killings by herdsmen and that Governor Godwin Obaseki’s visits to the area several times with assurance of adequate security and safety had not materialised in the face of the recent killings in the area
It would be recalled that seven persons were confirmed killed on Wednesday at he agrarian communities of Ugboke, Oshodi, Okokodo, Ariyan and Yoruba camp, in the local government area.
Speaking to journalists, one of leaders of the protesters, Michael Idahosa, said the communities could no longer bear the incessant attacks of killer herdsmen on their communities.
He addeD that they decided to bring the dead body to government house, for the governor to feel their plight.
Also speaking, one of the brothers of the deceased, Mr. Gabriel Afemi, said that Fulani herdsmen laid ambush and allegedly killed his brother, Mr. Omojuwa Afemi, calling on the government to come to their aid and tackle the current security challenge in the area.
“We are here to protest the killings by herdsmen in our communities. The governor came to Ovia north-east in 2017, when herdsmen killed one of our persons and promised to tackle the problem of herdsmen in our local government,but the government did not,” he lamented.
The State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, who received the protesters, reassured the them that the government would intensify efforts at providing adequate security to check the rising spate of herders killing activities in the state.
“As a state, we have made up our mind not to lament but look for solutions on how to protect our country and our state. There was also an attack in the early hours of today in Niger State; it’s a national problem. As we speak now, Governor Godwin Obaseki and other governors are in Abuja to discuss this insecurity issue in our country.
“You will remember that we are bringing in local vigilantes to collaborate with law enforcement agencies; we are strengthening our system and will still need your support. We don’t want to take laws into our hands but at the same time, we cannot fold our hands and watch the people kill us. Take it easy; some bodies are yet to be found, I have had a discussion with the security agencies,” Shaibu noted.
The security agents, he disclosed, would move into that area; “I can assure you that they will recover their bodies and we will intensify the security in that area. We will categorize that area as one of the flashpoints so that you can sleep with your eyes closed.”
He urged the youths in the locality not to sleep with their eyes closed so that they could understand what is going on in their areas, and pass on necessary information the authorities.