We will take your land by force – Fulani herdsmen

A Delta state community in the riverine island of Burutu Local Government Area has raised an alarm over an alleged plan by suspected herdsmen to invade their town.

The riverine community said the Fulani herdsmen plans to forcefully appropriate their land for grazing.

A statement signed by a group in the area said there the town was already gripped in tension.

The statement said most women from the community has refrained from going to farms for fear of being kidnapped by the herdsmen.

A community group claimed that 3 herdsmen had entered the community without invitation on December 30, 201.

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On interrogation, the herdsmen claimed they were sent by their “Oga” in Asaba.

A community leader swiftly contacted the Chairman of Burutu LGA, Mr. Ebikeme Clark, on the development.

The attention of the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, was immediately alerted of the rumored invasion.

In response to the alert, the DPO contacted a leader of the herdsmen simply identified as Musa.

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The DPO reportedly told Musa to tell his people to “stay action pending amicable settlement and agreement with Burutu people.

“Our hearts are bleeding with pain over the news that Fulani herdsmen are threatening to enter Ayakoromo community.

“Our worries are compounded by the fact that the said Fulani herdsmen are threatening to acquire grazing land by force.

“This is because the community told off three Fulani herdsmen who entered our land without invitation on December 30, 2016.

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“They claimed to have been sent to the community by their Oga in Asaba, Delta State.

“We told them that we have no land to give them for grazing purposes.

“We also told them the community is celebrating its annual festival.

“Our festival forbids any individual from entering the community’s forests.

“The three herdsman responded by saying that they had freedom to move their cattle to anywhere in Nigeria.

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“They said they will come to Ayakoromo town with their cattle, whether we like it or not.

“We insisted on observing our sacred tradition, which forbids people from entering any of our festive forests.

“The herdsman said they would go and get further directives from their Oga in Asaba.”

“Ayakoromo is a waterlogged community which is not suitable for grazing.

“The only time we manage to see land is the dry season from December to February.

“That is the period our people manage to cultivate farms.

“There is no land in this riverine community that is available for herdsmen to graze their cattle.

“Except they are saying that we should surrender to them our farms which are our only source of livelihood.”