Okpanam community protests over Fulani herdsmen killings, accuses Okowa of complicity

— says Okowa must be proactive

By Owho Warri

The Okpanam community in Oshimili Local Government Area of Delta State and residents of Justice estate along Asaba-Benin expressway, gathered on 7 may 2020 to protests the alleged killings of their community vigilante chairman and one of his member by persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.

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The angry protesters had accused the Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa of complicity, because he had handled and treated the issues of Fulani herdsmen killings in the state with levity without putting any proactive measures in place to check the excesses of the herdsmen, noting that, the killings, kidnapping, maiming and raping of women on daily basis is worrisome.

The angry protesters accused the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, of treating the issues of Fulani herdsmen in the state with levity while Deltans were killed, kidnapped, maimed and raped on daily basis.

The vigilante chairman and a member of the Okpanam community vigilante were said to have been killed by the Fulani herdsmen around 9:00pm on Wednesday in a nearby bush after receiving a distress call by an unknown person.

Speaking with newsmen, a member of the community’s vigilante group, who simply identified himself as Uzor, revealed that the late chairman known as Emeka Chosen got a distress call at about 9:00pm on Wednesday that someone was kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen and responded.

He said, “Emeka Chosen received a distress call at about 9:00pm Wednesday that someone had been kidnapped by the Fulani herdsmen. Emeka and two other members of our vigilante group mobilised and entered the bush so as to rescue the victim.

“On arriving the bush and unknown to Emeka, the herdsmen had laid ambush for them and fired several gun shots at him and one of the vigilante members from behind. They died immediately while the third member narrowly escaped into the bush with bullet wounds.

Findings revealed that, in the last one month, three persons have been kidnapped and one person killed by the Fulani herdsmen.

Our correspondent reliably gathered that last month a man was killed while three persons were kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen at Justice Estate.

As at the time of filing this report, the two corpses have been retrieved and deposited at the mortuary.

Contacted on the issue, the Police Public Relations Officer in Delta State, DSP Onome Onovwakpoyeya, confirmed the incident.

“The information we earlier received was that someone was kidnapped and the vigilantes in Okpanam were alerted and they pursued the kidnappers.

“But because they were banned from carrying arms, the kidnappers laid ambush for them and shot two of them dead.”

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