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Suspected herdsmen allegedly kill 12 in Delta community

Many other persons sustained serious injuries during the attacks on Wednesday and Saturday.

The reason for the attacks on the community was yet to be ascertained as at yesterday.

But, it was learnt that the community’s executives were holding their routine meeting when the suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked them, killing four persons.

The community’s chairman, Mr. Sunday Iniovogoma, who spoke to reporters yesterday, said the suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded the Avwor community on Wednesday when its executive members were holding their meeting and killed four persons at about 10 am. Iniovogoma said two of the four persons were burnt to ashes.

He explained that on Saturday, the same herdsmen killed another seven persons in the community’s farmlands, increasing the figure killed to 12. According to him, several other residents sustained severe injuries and are receiving treatments in hospitals.

When asked about what informed the attack, the chairman said the herdsmen claimed that the farmlands belonged to them and that for the period they would occupy the farmlands, nobody should trespass.

Iniovogoma said: “Because of the incessant killings, the community youths had to block the Bomadi Road. We were surprised that JTF men attached to Bomadi came and shot two of the community youths, which led to the death of one of them.

“I can categorically tell you that the JTF men in Bomadi are supporting the herdsmen and if this continues, they will kill all of us because we cannot fold our hands and see our people being killed like fowls and nothing is being done about it. l doubt if the Commanding Officer of the 222 Battalion, Agbarha-Otor is aware of the actions of the JTF men in Bomadi.”

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When contacted, Ughelli North Local Government Chairman Chief Godwin Adode, hailed Governor Okowa for his swift action, which led to the deployment of military personnel to the community.

Adode also thanked the state Police Commissioner and the men of the 222 Battalion.

The council boss said: “I got the call on the killings on Saturday and my amiable governor had come to our rescue. The military from 222 Battalion and the police were also of great assistant because throughout the night, they were in the bush to ensure no further attack.

“I appeal to the Federal Government to come and assist us to end this menace and station military camp in the community because this cannot continue. I appeal to the community heads to cooperate with the police and the military to enthrone peace.”

A source in the office of the Commanding Officer, 222 Battalion, Agbarha-Otor, Major Ogidi, when contacted, dismissed the allegation against the JTF men attached to Bomadi.

He said the community could not produce the bodies of those they claimed were killed.

The source addded that Ughelli Police Area Commander, the Press Secretary to the Governor and Ughelli North Council Chairman were at the community.

However, Deputy President of the Senate Ovie Omo-Agege has condemned the murder of eight persons in Uwheru, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.

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Omo-Agege, in a statement by his media aide, Yomi Odunuga, urged the Army to arrest its personnel, who were alleged to have helped the killers. He also called on the police to arrest and prosecute the culprits.  The senator called on security agencies to restore normalcy to the affected communities, even as he appealed for calm.

Suspected herdsmen, allegedly aided by soldiers, attacked Avwon, Agadama, Ohoror, and other communities of Uwheru. They reportedly killed about eight persons and injured many others.

The statement reads: “I condemn the unprovoked attacks and killing of my constituents and the destruction of their property by suspected herdsmen. The attacks on Avwon, Agadama, Ohoror and other communities of Uwheru Kingdom, is one too many. I call on security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book. I assure the people of Uwheru Kingdom that this matter will not be swept under the carpet, and the law will be brought on those found culpable.”

Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has also appealed to the affected communities to remain calm and peaceful.

Okowa emphasised the confidence of the state government in the ability of security agencies to rise to security challenges in the state.

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