The sleepy town of Ogbona in Etsako Local Government Area of Edo State yesterday in Benin-city, the state capital, protested what they described as “illegal activities of Fulani herdsmen in their community,” demanding they leave their domain immediately.
The agrarian community, located about 200km North-east of Benin-city, is the hometown of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Vice Chairman, South-south, Chief Dan Orbih.
The protesters were armed with different placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Ogbona People of Etsako Central LGA Protest against Cattle Rearers Destroying our Land’; ‘Ogbona People of Edo North are Farmers. Government Come to our Aid as our Crops are Being Destroyed by Herdsmen’, among others.
The protesting community marched through some major streets in Benin-city to register their displeasure.
Spokesman of the community, Chief Vincent Usoh, accused the herdsmen of wanton destruction of their farmlands and crops with their cattle.
Usoh lamented that the cattle rearers allegedly uprooted their cassava to feed their cattle while trampling on other crops in their farms.
He further disclosed that yam tubers were not spared in the destruction spree by the herdsmen and their cattle.
According to him he added, “We are now afraid to go to the farm because many of us have been beaten up and injured by the herdsmen for daring to ask them to stop the destruction of our crops and farm
“So, we are here to let you know that we are tired of their atrocities. We can’t go to farm anymore and the little we cultivated have been destroyed by the herders and their cattle. We want them to leave our land and community. We didn’t give them any land.”
The spokesman also pleaded with the state government and security agents to come to their aid so that they can go back to their farms and avoid hunger.
Usoh further appealed to the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to save the community and its people from the herdsmen who he said want to create hunger in the land.
They traveled to Benin-city from their area to express their frustration so that the state government can act, as they have reached the limit of their endurance and do not want to take the laws into their own hands, He said.