For hours on Wednesday, hundreds of women in Uromi, Esan-North East Local Government Area of Edo State, disrupted vehicular and human movements as they protested against the incessant kidnappings and killings by herdsmen in the locality.
While the protest lasted, travellers on the route were stranded for hours as the women blocked the road, lamenting that the suspected Fulani herdsmen, were in the habit of raping of their girls and women and destruction of their crops in the farms.
The protesting women blocked the entire stretch of the road from the palace of Onojie of Uromi, HRH Anselm Aidenjie, up to the police station, insisting that they be addressed by the Onojie and the Divisional Police Officer.
When information filtered in that the two men were not to be in town, the women dispersed and promised to converge another day.
One of the women, Mrs Rosemary Ordia told journalists that “We are tired of kidnapping in our community by Fulani, they don’t only kidnap our people, they rape our girls and women, others take their cows to our farms to eat and destroy our crops. How can we be living in our community and we are afraid? It has never been like this in the history of this place.”
Speaking on the protest, the Ojuromi of Uromi, Anslem Aidenojie II, said that the activities of the killer herdsmen had become worrisome.
“Yes, the activities of the criminal herdsmen are worrisome and quite disturbing. They kidnap our people, rape the women, maim and do a lot of havoc. They don’t allow people to go to their farms anymore so their activities are terrible. But that does not mean that there are no good Fulani people because they have been living with us in peace in our kingdom,” he lamented.
According to the Uromi traditional ruler, “this set of Fulanis that are engaged in criminal activities are strange and are not known to us. we condemn in entirety their activities but we are handicapped. we are trying to encourage the vigilantes, giving support to the Police and that is the best we can do. We cannot tell our people to take up arms”.
He added that he had directed the protesting women to remain calm while they channel their grievances to the appropriate quarters.
“I have spoken to the DPO and the Area Commander and will also reach out to the governor to let him know the situation we have at hand. The killer herdsman has been here since they started appearing in other parts of Nigeria.
There is no area of the country that is spared of the activities of these criminal elements. It just that they are disturbing our people from carrying out their daily activities and doing their normal business. We are hopeful that God will help us to resolve the matter,” the Onojie said.
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