Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark has called on the relevant authorities to check Fulani herdsmen activities in the Niger Delta to forestall breakdown of law and order.
He said that residents of communities affected by some Fulani herdsmen’s nefarious activities might resort to self-help when pushed to the wall.
The elder statesman stated this while recounting several incidents of criminal activities including killings, kidnapping and rape, committed by some criminal herdsmen in the South-South geopolitical zone, especially Delta.
According to him, Fulani herdsmen had been invading the community for more than 10 years, destroying farmlands and threatening farmers.
He expressed concern at Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa’s statement that military men assisted the assailants and lambasted the Federal Government for allegedly failing to deal decisively with killer herdsmen.
“The recent onslaught of the herdsmen did not come to me as a surprise because they are now taking advantage of the Federal Government not taking action on previous cases all over the country.
“We have not heard one day from the Federal Government that one Fulani herdsman has been arrested, his gun taken from him. Rather we have heard words of encouragement from those in authority,” Clark.
Furthermore, he berated the state Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Inuwa for claiming that reports of the killing of nine persons were unsubstantiated.
“When we saw a report sent to us by the community, we felt very sad that this killing took place and the people had to be exhumed from shallow graves and I heard the Police say that they wanted to know who killed the people, who buried them and so on and I just smiled.
“Does it mean that the villagers or the communities killed their people, buried them in shallow graves to obtain what? The credibility of their allegations against the Fulani Herdsmen or what?
“We are all Nigerians and no one is more superior than the other; perhaps this is the reason many people in the country are now agreeing that we should have state police and we are waiting to see the next thing. We will be meeting with the governor of Delta State before we issue our statement on this frightening attack on our people in the South,” Clark stated.
Recounting other incidents of herdsmen attacks in the state, the octogenarian said, “During the last Christmas, I was at home. One day, I received a delegation of 25 women from Ughelli South Local Council that they learned I was in town and as their leader, they had come to complain to me and I asked them: ‘What is happening?’
“They said they were getting very worried because their farms have been taken over by Fulani herdsmen and they cannot go to the farms for fear of being raped or killed; that I should appeal to the governor of Delta State and use my position of being in Abuja to see what could be done for them to go back to their farms.
“Similarly, my community women also reported that similar things were happening in their place that they have taken their bush called Ugborugbo and they cannot go to the farm. What type of country are we building? This is what is happening in the Niger Delta.
“I also saw in the papers, the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom who is 103years old announcing that many of his people have been killed by these Fulani herdsmen. He mentioned the names of those killed, the villages that are suffering from these types of things in his kingdom and he called on the government to come to their rescue.”