Residents of Obor and Obie communities in Usomini clan of Ogbaland, in the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State have raised the alarm over the invasion of their farmlands and destruction of crops by herdsmen.
One of the residents, Obed Douglas, said his parents could no longer go to the farm for fear of being attacked by the herdsmen.
“My parents are mostly afraid of going to the farm because of these people (herdsmen). Sometimes, they go there (farm) and threaten them. There are some certain days that our people don’t go to farm. They target those days.
“They come in during the day that our people don’t go to the farm. And when you go to the farm, you will see that their cows have destroyed crops,” Douglas said.
The, Paramount Ruler of Obie Community, Levi Ekuku, said the activities of the herdsmen was a security threat, as his people could no longer go to their farms.
“They move with knives. Even if they see only women, they will use their knives to hit on a stick and direct their cows to chase people. Their cows will damage crops and cause pain to the farmers. Many of my people came to me as their paramount ruler to complain. I just told them not to fight anyone. Let the government come and help us because what the (herdsmen) are doing is bad,” he said.
The monarch also said the herders used “boys of 17 years, 18 years, 21 years; two persons will lead about 52 cows. They will just see farmland and enter.”
“On Sundays when they know people have gone to church, they will enter the farms and the cows will eat the crops,” he added.
Similarly, a resident of Obo community, Gift Obulor, also said his mother’s cassava crops were destroyed.
“Our community people were annoyed that these herdsmen will just bring their cows and finish everything they plant. Now, we are begging the government to come to our aid,” Obulor stated.