From OSEMWENGIE BEN OGBEMUDIA, Benin City
There was pandemonium in Urhuoka-Abraka community in Ethiope-East Local Government Area of Delta State following the killing of a member of the community by armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
Sources said the incident occurred on Monday around Ovre-Abraka bush where indigenes of the community farm.
It was gathered that the young man, a welder, who was later identified as Solomon Ejor, was killed while trying to rescue his mother, Mrs. Maria Ejor, who had gone to Ovre to farm, and was held hostage by the herdsmen in her farm.
On getting to the place, a confrontation ensued, which led to the woman’s freedom but Solomon was unlucky as he was shot before being beheaded by the suspected herdsmen.
It was gathered that over 50 local farmers had been killed in the scuffle since the struggle began even as the state government and security operatives were accused of playing politics with the rampaging killing in the area.
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Irked by the continued killing and inaction of the traditional ruler, angry indigenes retrieved the mutilated body of the victim and went to the palace of the Ovie of Oruarivie-Abraka to dump the corpse and register their grievances.
Upon sighting the angry mob with the corpse of the slain welder, the monarch was learnt to have reportedly fled the palace through the back gate to an unknown destination probably to avoid seeing the corpse which is a taboo for a monarch in Urhobo.
The protesters invaded the palace destroying cars and air conditioners, threatened to torch the palace but were stopped by the timely intervention of a detachment of army personnel.
The President General of the community, Dr. Tedwins Emudainohwo, whose car was also destroyed in the mayhem said, “They brought the corpse to the palace with the intention of desecrating the palace coupled with the fact that it is a taboo for the Ovie to see a corpse.
“The victim, in company with his younger brother and two friends, had gone to the bush to rescue their mother who had gone to the farm and was trapped in the bush, following shootings by herdsmen in the area.”
“Their mother had gone to her farm on Monday to work. While there, she started hearing gunshots inside the bush and had to take cover at a spot. In her hiding position, she was able to see some Fulani herdsmen walking past as they continued shooting. After the situation had calmed down, she called her children and told them that she was trapped inside the bush.”