…Demands that “the states of the Niger Delta adequately enforce their anti-open grazing legislation and safeguard people’s lives and property.”
Ijaw leaders have issued warnings against the invasion of Ijaw communities by armed individuals who are thought to be herders, under the aegis of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC).
They noted that “these intruders who wield lethal and dangerous weapons” have been alarmingly invading the towns and farms of Ijaw and other Niger Delta residents.
Consequently, they urged “the Niger Delta states to effectively enforce their anti-open grazing legislation and protect lives and property.
Additionally, they should offer people the assurance that they can go to their fields and earn a living without being afraid or uneasy, especially since lost lives cannot be replaced.
These statements can be found in a statement released on Wednesday by Professor Benjamin Okaba, National President of the INC.
“Our brothers and sisters have been brutally murdered by these herdsmen in their communities and farmlands throughout the states of Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, and Ondo, among others.
He noted that, particularly in the last few years, “the horrific tales of the barbarous and despicable conduct of these agents of provocation have led reports.”
First Vice President Atamuno Atamuno, Secretary Ebipamowei Wodu, Treasurer Philip Agu, and Financial Secretary Kenneth Odiowei were among the INC national executives present.
On January 24, some alleged armed herdsmen were claimed to have brutally murdered a father and his kid at their farm in Toru-Angiama, in the Patani Local Government Area of Delta State. Mr. Okaba recalled this incident.
He stated, “A woman was murdered in her farm at Sabagriea community in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA of Bayelsa State on January 25, 2023.
In February 2021, suspected herdsmen attacked a farmer and his son on their farm in the Otuoke community of the Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa.
The constant invasions and violent attacks are part of a nefarious plan by these herders and their employers to seize and dominate the Niger Delta and the Ijaw nation.
“We vehemently oppose in its totality all covert attempts by herders and their employers to seize control of the bushes of the Ijaw nation.
“We are steadfast in our resolve to thwart any efforts by strange forces to terrorize and drive Ijaw people from their ancient territories and history.
In order to advance peace and sustainable development, “we endorse all anti-open grazing laws legally approved by the Houses of Assembly of Niger Delta states and assented to by their Governors.”