– Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state paid a condolence visit to the families of two women who were raped and murdered by killer herdsmen
– The governor vowed to root out all killer herdsmen in the state and put an end to their nefarious activities
– A representative of one of the deceased’s families narrated how one of the women was killed and the state in which her body was found
The governor of Edo Godwin Obaseki has vowed to smoke out killer Fulani herdsmen from the south-south state.
Obaseki made the vow on Wednesday, May 31 as he paid a condolence visit to the families of two women – Christiana Ariu and Martine Emoyon – who were raped and murdered by suspected herdsmen on May 22.
The harrowing incident occurred at Ewu in Esan-Central local government area of the state.
In a statement made available to NAIJ.com, the governor stated that the state government was putting in place measures to prevent the re-occurrence of such ugly episodes.
He also revealed that the state government had been unaware of the presence of the herdsmen and their Cattle in the bushes within the state.
He said: “We are coming up with certain measures to prevent what has just happened from happening again in the future.
“We will be relying on every community to give us information on time, so that we can curb such situations before it happens again.
“If we had known that people have been in the bush with their cattle for a few weeks, we would have dislodged them from there.
“If it is to feed their cattle, then we will come up with methods where anybody who brings cattle can take them to a particular place, where everyone knows that they are there and the cattle cannot roam around.”
An eyewitness Ceril Ikhajigbe from Oko-Ojeme narrated what happened to the governor.
Ceril recalled the sad tale of how one of the deceased was raped, murdered, and the state in which her body was found.
In his words: “Our mother went to farm in the morning. Fulani herdsmen raped her and murdered her.
“When we found her, she was covered with blood. We had to check the body to confirm she was the one.
“From what we saw, she was dragged to the place we found her stark naked – dead. It is pathetic. This has never happened in Ewu land, Ishan.
“All our hope and security is in God’s hands.
“We are happy that you are here. We are afraid for our lives.
“We’ve been living with Hausa people here for over 30 years. But since this Fulani herdsmen got here, this is the first time such issue is happening.”
According to Ikhajigbe, the Fulani herdsmen settled in the bush and had been causing problems in the community since their arrival.
“We don’t farms again. People are afraid and have abandoned their farms. They don’t know who is next.
“We are all living in fear because of Fulani herdsmen. Some people have even moved away from their homes. These people can come anytime in the night to wreak havoc,” he said.
Another eye witness, Pastor Gilbert Enahoro, disclosed that after the attacks, soldiers came to their community and shot at their cars, rendering the car of a resident dysfunctional.
Governor Obaseki ordered a probe into the matter and mandated that the full report should be sent to the Chief of Army Staff.
Assuring them of his concern, the governor said: “I came here to commiserate with you on the sad, terrible and tragic occurrence. This is a national problem and we have discussed it at the National Security Meeting.
“These are not normal herdsmen – normal herdsmen don’t go about armed, killing and raping. These are terrorists and we will appreciate rapid intelligence from you on their whereabouts.”
He also disclosed that he was headed to Abuja the next day to hold a meeting with the Inspector General of Police over the issue.
Meanwhile, Obaseki followed in the footsteps of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state who also vowed to evict herdsmen from his state last year.
NAIJ.com reported earlier that Fayose warned herdsmen to steer clear of his state or otherwise risk death to their cattle through poisoning.
The governor gave the warning on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the World Press Freedom Day organized by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Oyo State Council in Ibadan.
He said he had instructed his people to poison water with a particular brand of chemical used against fungal attacks in the event of any herdsmen attack in Ekiti.
Fayose said the time had come for Nigerians to defend themselves in the face of unwarranted attacks and killings by suspected herdsmen across the country.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video about killer herdsmen activities in Southern Kaduna