By Pius Mordi
A farmer, Chief Albert Chikwe Ojinji, has been killed in his farm at Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South local government area of Delta State by armed suspected to be Fulani herdsmen who had been terrorizing parts of Delta State in recent years.
Chief Chikwe was said to have hired labourers to work in his farm, a common practice among peasant farmers in that community especially those too weak to till the earth on account of age.
One of the labourers who escaped recounted to the natives how Pa Ojinji was hacked to death. The labourers were said to be helpless and had to run home to inform the family. The body has since been deposited in the mortuary while the natives said they were relying on the police to find the killers.
One of the natives who spoke to our reporter said they now live in fear as armed Fulani herdsmen have taken over their farms and farm roads. “Some of us cannot go to our farms for fear of being killed. These people are armed. They are frightening. They don’t speak English, even pidgin and they take whatever they see in the farm. The police should help us.
“We used to have Vigilante but they cannot withstand these herdsmen who carry superior guns. This is beyond us. We need government help so we don’t go hungry”, he said.
Recall that in August 2016, herdsmen abducted and killed the traditional ruler of Ubulu Uku, Obi Akaeze Ofulue III, while on his way to Asaba. The herdsmen had demanded for ransom but before their demand could be met they shot and killed the monarch who was also a lawyer.
Commenting on the killing, the president general of Ubulu-Uku Development Council ((UDC), Comrade Jones Ofunne, decried the invasion of people’s farmlands by cattle rearers. “These people routinely graze their cattle on people’s farms and destroy their crops. People are now apprehensive about going to their farms. In 2016, our royal father was abducted and killed here in Delta State. Till today, nothing by way of prosecution has been carried out on the arrested suspects.
“After killing our traditional ruler, today it is one of our prominent chiefs. Our people are now living as those under siege. We call on the Police and other security agencies to come to our aid and protect our people,” Ofunne said.