From OSEMWENGIE BEN OGBEMUDIA, Benin City
Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has visited the families of Mrs Christiana Ariu from Eko-Ojeme quarters and Mrs Martina Emonyon from Uzogolo quarters, both in Ewu community, who were raped and killed by suspected Fulani Herdsmen in Ewu Community of Esan Central Local Government of Edo State.
The governor, on Wednesday, was, accompanied by Edo State APC chairman, Anselm Ojezua, to visit the homes of the victims of the Fulani herdsmen assault, and promised to beef up security in the area as well as bring the killers to justice.
Governor Obaseki urged members of the community as well as the vigilantes to be alert and work closely with the police because prompt intelligence would help in the quest to end terror attacks in the state.
An eyewitness, Cyril Ikhajiagbe, revealed: “It happened on Monday Morning. We heard that the herdsmen had raped and killed there. When we got there, we found them dead and we saw a lot of cows. We saw our mother was stark naked, and we have never seen this sort of thing in the history of Ewu and Esan Land. Now we are living under fear. We are sleeping with one eye open. With you here, we know we are safe”.
Disclosing that Hausa people had been cohabiting with them peacefully for more than 30 years, Ikhajiagbe expressed his belief that the attack was the handiwork of nomadic herdsmen, restating that they had thrown the entire Ewu Community, including some neighbouring communities, such as Irrua, into fear.
Meanwhile, upon interrogation by the governor, he explained that the herdsmen initially migrated into Esan land and settled in the bush without anyone’s knowledge and that people had abandoned their farms due to the terror instigated by the herdsmen.
Another eye witness, Pastor Gilbert Enahoro, disclosed that after the attacks, soldiers came to their community and shot at their cars, rendering the car of a resident dysfunctional, to which Governor Obaseki ordered a probe, mandating that the full report should be sent to the Chief of Army Staff.
Assuring them of the government’s concern, he said: “I came here to commiserate with you on the sad, terrible and tragic occurrence. This is a national problem and we have discussed it at the National Security Meeting. These are not normal herdsmen – normal herdsmen don’t go about armed, killing and raping.
These are terrorists and we will appreciate rapid intelligence from you on their whereabouts”.
He added that he had instructed the Divisional Police Officer to beef up security and that the federal and state governments were finalizing security plans, which could not be disclosed, to dislodge the terrorists.
The governor, however, assured them to return to their farms as security had been intensified in the area and they would not be attacked in their farms anymore.