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2 Aug 2018

Tension as suspected herdsmen attack Edo farmer

Bandits, suspected to be herdsmen, have reportedly attacked a farmer, identified as one Bashiru Aliu, in the Owan East Local Government Area of Edo.

The incident was said to have occurred in Ivbiaro community on Tuesday.

It was learnt that the armed men, numbering about six, had laid an ambush in Aliu’s farm as he was attending to his crops and suddenly attacked him with machetes.

The assailants were said to have inflicted deep cuts in the victim’s head at about 9:30 am and left him to die, before fleeing the scene.

The 50-year-old victim, who is currently receiving medical treatment in an undisclosed hospital in Auchi, said that the bandits had told him that they were out to kill him.

Aliu explained, “When I was cutting plantain in my farm, I did not know that some herdsmen had laid an ambush somewhere waiting for me to move an inch. Suddenly, they pounced on me and started using machetes on me, saying that they were there to take my life.

“At that point, knowing that it was between life and death, I engaged them in a serious fight and, in the process, they cut my head with a machete. When they assumed that I was dead, they ran away; that was how God saved me from their hands.”

The victim also said that the matter had been reported to the police.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Chidi Nwabuzor, could not be reached for comments and had yet to respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing the report.

But the Chairman of the local government council, Mr Andrew Osigbe, confirmed the attack to our correspondent on Wednesday.

Osigbe, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said, “I am aware of the fact that some Fulani herdsmen attacked one Bashiru in Ivbiaro community. Herdsmen bring their cows here to graze.

“I am not aware that there had any clash prior to this one (attack). We have a herdsmen-farmers committee on the ground. The matter is being handled by the committee, in conjunction with security agencies.”

Also reacting, a community leader, Chief Musa Kadiri, lamented that the residents, who were mainly farmers, found it difficult to go to their various farms due to the fear of being attacked.

Kadiri noted that agricultural activities in the community had gone down in the last five years and called on the security agencies to come to the aid of the people.

He also called for the intervention of the state government.

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