Herdsmen with deadly weapons arrested in Edo State (PHOTOS)
Vigilantes and youths in Okpe near Igarra, headquarters of Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State yesterday arrested nine suspected herdsmen. They also recovered from the herdsmen different types of deadly weapons.
The suspects were travelling in a Volkswagen vehicle marked Kaduna MKA 555YJ on the Igarra- Okpe Road about 7a.m. when the teams arrested them. The herdsmen’s arrest followed heightened fears among residents of Igarra and its environs over the onslaught by suspected killer cattle rearers who on Saturday shot dead a driver of a school bus on the Igarra-Auchi Road.
The ugly incident came a day after a farmer was robbed by suspected herdsmen on Igarra-Okpe Road and escaped into the bush. But the development forced some angry youths to besiege the police station in Igarra where they demanded that the suspected killer herdsmen be brought out to face jungle justice. Policemen at the station had quickly re-enforced from the Area Command in Auchi and military men from Nigerian Army School of Mechanical Engineering (NASME) to curtail the angry youths.
The youth complained bitterly over alleged police reluctance to take quick action when they were alerted of the presence of the herdsmen and the killing of the driver.“They normally come to mount check-point between Ago and Igarra but when we alerted them of the presence of killer herdsmen in that same area, they complained that they did not have enough fuel in their vehicle. It took the combined efforts of vigilantes from Igarra and Okpe and other youths in the area to pursue them into the bush before they were arrested yesterday in a vehicle going to an undisclosed location,” a source in the area said.
The Secretary of the Royal Palace of Igarra, Elder Folorunsho Dania, said: “Today (yesterday) is Igarra market day, but many people did not go to the market for fear of attacks, even churches closed early because of the fear. But luckily around 7a.m. on Igarra-Okpe Road, vigilantes accosted them and they were arrested in their vehicle with cutlasses, guns and charms.
“We are now living in fear. Just a few days ago, they chopped off the hand of a farmer in Ojah. A few days later they attacked a cattle farmer, Hassan. They cut him severally in the head. The man died two days ago. “Last week, they kidnapped three people from the mining site near Igarra and up till now, their whereabouts is still unknown.
We are appealing to the government and security agencies to come to our rescue.” Sources at the Igarra Police Station said the suspects would be transferred to the state Police Command Headquarters. Efforts to get the comments of the state Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Kokumo, and the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Chidi Nwabuzor, yesterday failed as they did not pick their calls.