By Perez Brisibe & Ike Uchechukwu,
Herdsmen have chopped off the fingers and toes of a farmer in Abraka, Delta State, for trying to stop them from grazing their herd on his farm.
The attack on the farmer, identified as Osakwe Benard, is coming a week after a gang of armed herdsmen killed a farmer and shot his wife at their cassava farm in Abraka.
Meanwhile, the Ito Combined Traditional Rulers Council in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State have protested the arrest and detention of the Clan Head of Ito South Clan, Etinyin Edet Okon Eyet Ebita, by the Police over his alleged involvement in the murder of a herdsman in the area.
Osakwe Benard, 48, and a father of five, narrowly escaped death as his assailants fled the scene after his cry attracted other farmers in the area, who rescued him.
Confirming the incident yesterday, member representing the area in the state House of Assembly, Chief Evance Ivwurie, said: “Osakwe had gone to his farm when he saw the herdsmen grazing their herds on his farm.
“He started screaming for them to leave, not knowing that one of them, who held him for the others, was lurking behind him.
“They chopped off the entire toe area of his leg to the middle and the fingers of his two hands were also cut off.”
On efforts being put in place to checkmate the activities of herdsmen in the area, Ivwurie, who stated that the people have resorted to self-help in protecting themselves, said: “We have been able to locate seven different spots these herdsmen use as their bases.
“The vigilante, with assistance from the Police, is making preparations to dislodge them and there are moves by the state government to strengthen the vigilante with Okada and hilux trucks to patrol the area for the safety of our people.”
Monarch in detention
Meanwhile, the Ito Combined Traditional Rulers Council in Odukpani council of Cross River State has protested the arrest and detention of the Clan Head of Ito South Clan, Etinyin Edet Okon Eyet Ebita, by the Police over his alleged involvement in the murder of a herdsman in the area.
The traditional rulers, in a statement by Inyang Inyang, yesterday, also raised the alarm over an attack on the people of Mbiabong Ito in Ito North Clan and its environs by herdsmen.
They disclosed that Etinyin Ebita was innocent of the allegation leveled against him and demanded his immediate and unconditional release.
They described the arrest and detention of their colleague as unlawful and illegal.
The council said the entire Ito people were saddened by the development and accused the Police of conniving with the herdsmen to desecrate their traditional institution.