The lawmaker representing Ethiope East Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, Evance Ivwurie, and residents of Ovre’Abraka, Eku, Igun and Okpara Waterside communities, Delta State, have pursued over 2,000 armed herdsmen and 10,000 cows from their 15,000-hectare farmland.
For three years, the communities said, the herders and their cattle illegally occupied their land and launched attacks on villagers, killing no fewer than 13 as well as raping women.
The lawmaker, Ivwurie, who was at various times in the last few months summoned by the Police and Department of State Service, DSS, over his claim that some sponsors were carrying out espionage and dropping food supplies for the herdsmen by helicopter in the vast farmlands, confirmed the exit of the herdsmen to Vanguard in Abraka, yesterday.
According to him, “we were able to clear the entire cows and herdsmen from our vast farmland through my sustained efforts, endeavours and struggles to protect and save my people and constituency from this planned massacre and genocide.
“There were over 10,000 cows and over 2,000 herdsmen armed to the teeth with all kinds of sophisticated weapons, including AK-47, in Ovre’Abraka, Eku, Igun and Okpara Waterside. I was not told this story; I saw them with my eyes.
“I visited the area repeatedly to see things myself and to confirm that we were actually sleeping and living like the innocent Benue, Taraba and Plateau victims.”
Aircraft supplying herdsmen
He alleged that “I had received series of consistent credible information regarding an aircraft with no wings carrying out various activities in our farmland, including dropping stuffs for hundreds of herdsmen and thousands of cattle stocks, then performing some maneuvers in the constituency’s airspace regularly.
“When I raised the alarm, I was promptly invited by DSS and Police and I was subjected to several heinous accusations and harassment and I submitted myself to all manners of humiliating investigations.
“I cleared myself by confirming the situations as they are with evidence and I further told the Inspector General of Police and the DSS that I had already written to the United Nations, the United States, United Kingdom and Israeli presidencies that they will be held liable, responsible and accountable if the trend in my constituency results to the planned genocide against my people.
“After my release, a group based in Kaduna petitioned the Minister of Interior, alleging that I made a death proclamation and carried out genocide against herdsmen. Again I submitted myself to the IGP through the Delta State Commissioner of Police and I stressed the looming danger.
“Painfully, I lost a total of 13 constituents to the herdsmen in about three years in our farmland, revealing the depths of the planned politics of cows and human beings.
“At a time like this when we mourn as a nation, we the people of Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state will never fail to realise how much we are specially loved, protected and saved from genocide and mass deaths by God Almighty and we have every reason to thank God for His mercies.”