Suspected Fulani herdsmen have reportedly killed five farmers in two separate attacks in Abraka and Obiaruku, both in Ethiope East and Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State.
Southern City News gathered that the incident happened between Tuesday and Wednesday last week when the communities were allegedly attacked by the herdsmen who had been having a running battle with farmers in the areas over the destruction of their crops by cattle.
The incidents, which have reportedly sparked tension between local farmers and herdsmen in the state, claimed the lives of four males and a female as more residents in the state called for the ejection of the herdsmen from their lands.
According to a source, two of the victims, who were cousins, Akpovona Felix and Sunday Akpupu, were indigenes of Eku community residing at the Delta State University host community of Abraka.
It was gathered that two of them were killed in their farms as their lifeless bodies were discovered there on Wednesday. It was learnt that they had gone to the farm on Tuesday but failed to return home.
The deceased were said to have refused to allow herdsmen to graze their cattle on their farms.
Their corpses were recovered following a search on Wednesday afternoon in a bush said to be very prone to herdsmen attacks.
Akpovona, a father of five, was said to have been shot by the herdsmen while his brother was hacked to death and his fingers cut off.
The second incident happened in a farm around a forest reserve along the Abraka-Benin road, a boundary area between Urhoka-Abraka and Obiaruku. It claimed the lives of two males and a female.
The victims, according to sources, were indigenes of Obiaruku community.
“They had gone to the farm last week Tuesday and when they did not return, the next day, a search party sent to look for them found their lifeless bodies at separate locations by a river bank near their farm,” Progress Aganbi, a native of the area, narrated.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Aniamaka, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed that there were clashes in the two areas, but could not immediately confirmed the number of casualties.
Aniamaka added that security had been beefed up to prevent any form of reprisal, urging residents and herdsmen in the area to maintain the peace.