Communities, CSOs protest herdsmen attacks in Edo, barricade Benin-Lagos Road

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BENIN CITY – FIFTEEN communities and several Civil Society Organizations led by the former Attorney General of Edo State, Osagie Obayuwana on Wednesday barricaded the Lagos-Benin express road for several hours protesting the activities of herdsmen which they said have resulted in killings, destructions of farm produce and forceful evictions from their ancestral homes.

   Some of the communities included Odiguetue, Afintebe, Igolo, Okokuo, Abumwenre I and II, Obarenren, Uhiere, Uyimo I and II.

   Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Obayuwana, said, they were worried about the looming crisis brewing in the various communities in the state, orchestrated by armed herdsmen noting that urgent steps need to be put in place to checkmating them before snowballing into full-blown crises in the state.

   He said “We want the whole world to know the experience of our people has been for quite some time now. 

   “We are zeroing it on Ovia North-East communities. About 15 communities have been under siege for some years. Farmers have been prevented from going to their farms, another planting season is going away, they have been sentenced to hunger, farmers and their families and this have an implication for the larger society. 

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

   “So far, we have not seen a serious effort to address this issue. Our people have gone to various offices both the legislative arms and the legislative arms even traditional quarters and nothing seems to be coming out. 

   “We are concerned that what had been happening in Benue and Plateau States will be coming to the shore of Edo State now where armed herdsmen drive people from communities, change the names of the communities and start to occupy the houses, we don’t want that”, he said.

   For the former Public Relations Officer of Edo State Civil Society Organizations (EDOCSO), Osazee Edigin, the level of insecurity in Edo communities has gone from bad to worse, and thus decided to join their voice with them to call on the governments to come to their rescue.

  The Edo State Commissioner of Police CP Abutu Yaro, represented by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, ACP, James Chu, while appealing to the protesters to be calmed, said the command share in their pains stressing that types of machinery have been put in place to curtail the excesses of armed herdsmen in the various communities in the state.

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