The traditional ruler of agrarian Abavo community, in Ika south local government area of Delta state, Obi Uche Irenuma 11, has called for a State of Emergency on security to be declared in the community following the terror being unleashed on his subjects by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
In a press statement, the royal father said the call had become necessary in view of the incessant killing, kidnap, rape, maiming and torture of innocent farmers in Abavo on a daily basis by the herders.
Obi Irenuma said it had been a helpless situation for the farmers in the past three months as they were scared of going to their farms for fear of being attacked, adding that those that had yams in their barns had lost them to the suspected herders who converted them as food for the cattle.
The Abavo monarch pointed out that two of his subjects had been kidnapped along Obianyima – Okpe road which had heightened tension in the community.
He recalled that he had summoned a stakeholders’ meeting in his palace over the menace, where it was agreed that peace should reign between the herders and the host community to forestall a break down of law and order.
The King maintained that at the stakeholders meeting, attended by the Police, DSS, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Non- indigenes, Alhaji Muktar Usman, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security Matters. Ogbueshi Cassidy Iloba, the Leader of Miyetti Allah in Ika south and Ika North east and the Ika south council Chairman, Honourable Victor Okoh, the herders pledged to be of good conduct.
Obi Irenuma, however, noted that the herdsmen had failed to keep to their pledge, adding that their activities had tended to cause security threats in the community hence he decided to alert the relevant authorities.
He, therefore, appealed to the Delta State Government, the State Police Command and other security agencies to quickly intervene to avert a breakdown of law and order in the agrarian community, as the whereabouts of the two missing indigenes of the kingdom were still unknown.
When contacted, SSA to the Governor on Non Indigenes Affairs, Alhaji Muktar Usman, expressed regret at the strained relationship between the herders and their host community, resulting in attacks on innocent persons, particularly farmers, destruction of farmlands, kidnapping, rape and killing.
Alhaji Muktar appealed to the Abavo monarch to give the authorities two weeks to resolve the issues, assuring that normalcy would return to the community.