Edo State Police command, yesterday, pledged to enhance regular patrol in troubled Abumere II, community in Ovia North-East Local Council of Edo State.
The command said the move was to forestall breakdown of law and order, arising from reported disagreement between herders and farmers.
Spokesperson for the State Police command, SP. Bello Kontongs, who disclosed this during a joint security visit to the community, described as false, media reports that herders had raped women, set houses on fire and sacked the community.
According to him, “what we have here is herders, farmers’ disagreement. And the CP and the State government have directed that we visit and restore normalcy”.
The State Police commissioner, Mr. Phillip Ogbadu’s delegation was led by ACP Badaru Musa, whilst the Army Brigade was represented by Major AJ Isa.
Recall that herders were reported to have stormed the community on Sunday, fired shots into the sky. It was gathered that the herders requested to see the community head and members of local vigilante.
The leader of Abumere 11 community, Mr. Solomon Omoragbon said he was in Benin City when the herders came to issue the stern warning to the people.
He said: “I can say very clearly that no single house was burnt, no woman was raped as reported but they came with guns to warn us to leave our farm produce for their cattle.
“They instructed us not to ring our bell anymore and we should not bring out any vigilante out, stop setting fire at night. They asked us to tell our vigilantes in the area to stop shooting guns.
“I haven’t seen the herdsmen but I saw the food items they ate.”
A resident in the community, Pius Osai, said: “The herders numbering 10 warned us to stop ringing the community bell and stop the vigilantes from firing gun shots.
“They (herders) also cautioned us against obstructing their cows from feeding on our plantain and other crops on our farm lands.
“As I speak, we no longer go to our farms for fear of our lives. The cattle are now feeding on our crops.”