NIGERIA — WOMEN of flood-ravaged Ewu-Urhobo community, Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State Nigeria, have cried out that suspected fulani herdsmen attack, rape and chase them away from their farmlands. The women alleged that the armed herdsmen often claimed that all lands in the country belonged to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The women, who laid siege to the Ewu-Edjokota Road, penultimate Monday, as early as 6.00 am, alleged that the armed herdsmen, who take turns to defile them and maim those that refuse to yield to their lustful desires, feed their herds with their farm produce.
Besides attacking them in the farms, they further alleged that the herdsmen usually laid ambush and robbed traders going to local markets of their goods and flee into the bush.
They impudently claim Buhari owns all lands – Woman leader
The woman leader of the community, Mrs. Queen Dieseruvwe, stated that the herdsmen now operate with effrontery, telling them that “all lands in Nigeria, including our communal lands belong to President Muhammadu Buhari.”
“They also claim that we have no rights to prevent them from grazing on our farms because President Muhammadu Buhari owns all the land in Nigeria, hence we cannot claim ownership of the land. “They uproot our cassava, feed it to their herds and when you try to resist them, they attack you with machete and maim you if you are lucky as some others, or even shoot you.
One of the ladies in the community who died from wounds inflicted on her by herdsmen, who attacked her in her farm and tried to rape her triggered the recent protests.
A villager simply identified as Mama Ufuoma told reporters that her death sparked the latest protest. “She was at her farm with one of her children weeding unknown to them that a group of herdsmen were within the vicinity. The herdsmen immediately pounced on her and tried to rape her. “While trying to resist them amidst screams, they attacked her with their machetes leaving deep cuts on her and fled into the bush when people came to the scene. She was rushed to the hospital after losing a lot of blood, but died at the hospital,” she said.
Protesting women block East-West Road in Delta State
Mrs Dieseruvwe also accused the Delta State government of allegedly neglecting the community, especially when their farmlands were destroyed by flood, saying, “This is not about politics of PDP or APC as we are here for the benefit of our community and we won’t leave until these herdsmen are ejected from our farms.”
“We have a government, but we do not feel its impact. How will representatives of the government feel if their wives, sisters and daughters are raped by herdsmen? “Our farmlands and crops were destroyed as a result of the increase in water level, now we decided to get new locations in the upland only for us to be attacked by these herdsmen, who have been a big problem to us for the past 15 years.
Source: Vanguard News