15th October, 2021
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Scores of women from Usonmi clan of the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni council area of Rivers State have protested against the invasion of their farmlands by herdsmen.
The women on Thursday took their protest to the Secretariat of the Ogbe-Egbema-Ndoni local government in Omoku on Thursday.
They carried placards and branches of cassava plants destroyed by herdsmen and their cows and blocked the entrance to the secretariat.
The women also claimed that the herdsmen have raped, terrorised and killed some of them at gunpoint and knifepoint.
They demanded that the herdsmen vacate their farmlands.
A women’s leader of Obirikom in Usonmi clan of the Council, Mrs. Isiodu Nkeiruka, lamented the sufferings herders have inflicted on them.
She said that they had complained to the Council Chairman, Department of State Services (DSS), Joint Task Force (JTF) Area Command, and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in the area, all to no avail.
She said the herdsmen rampage on the farmlands will lead to poor harvests, especially of Cassava, the dominant crop grown in the area.
“Herdsmen have been going to our farms, destroying our yams and other crops, terrorising and killing us with knives and guns and raping our women.
“Enough is enough. Even if you do not eat garri or cassava, your children and mothers do,” Nkeiruka said.
“We plead with the federal and state government(s) to assist us, because we do not want to be tagged lazy, just as President Muhammadu Buhari once tagged Nigerian youths as lazy,” she said.
The local government Chairman, Vincent Job, condemned the criminal activities of herdsmen in various communities in the Council area.
He cited the case of a girl who was brutally beaten by herdsmen and appealed to the federal government to come to their aid.
He said the people do not want to take the laws into their hands.