Commuters of the Benin-Onitsha expressway were yesterday delayed for hours as members of local security outfits in Delta State blocked their entrance into Asaba while protesting against the illegal activities of Fulani herdsmen across various communities in the state.
Armed with placards of different inscriptions, the protesters gathered at the Summit Junction in Asaba and barricaded both ends of the dualised road,
forcing commuters to make a detour into Asaba metropolis to get their destinations.
Most motorists particularly heavy duty vehicles were however stuck at the spot until the protesters dispatched at about 2.30pm after Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State was said to have sent emissaries to placate the aggrieved local security forces.
The protesters told newsmen in Asaba that they decided to take to the highway in protest after their letters to government institutions on the unbearable activities of Fulani herdsmen this year were allegedly ignored.
Gathered under the auspices of Anioma Security Watch, Delta South Security Network and Urhobo Security Network, the protesters said government has failed in its primary responsibility of protecting lives by allowing herdsmen to be killing innocent and law abiding citizens.
In a protest letter signed by Jacob Godwin, Henry Onwuamalieze and Warri Eriques alleged that government has put more attention to protection of oil facilities/installations at the expense of security of human lives.
Entitled “Insensitivity of government and the inevitable war against Fulani herdsmen”, the letter also faulted government’s action of drafting security agents during “election to cow perceived enemies and electorate to win such elections, but failed to address the deadly menace of Fulani herdsmen.”
“There have been several uncountable killings, robbery, kidnapping, sexual harassment, attacks and massive destruction of crops and farmland traced to the Fulani herdsmen but the government is never interested to arrest this ugly trend maybe because it will neither put money in their pocket nor promote their political activities.
“We are tired of counting our losses, brutality, deprivation, emotional torture, pains, killings, weeping, hunger, lack and other sacrilegious act served us by the trigger happy and above the law Fulani herdsmen.
Reacting to the protest, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah appealed for calm and patience on the part of the citizens of the state, saying that the menace of herdsmen was a national security issue.
He appealed to the protesters to maintain peace in their various domains, noting that “because of the sensitive nature of the issue, it will not be wise to discuss the efforts of government in the public until they yield the desired results.
“It will appear as if the solution is slow but it has to be a bit slow because of the sensitivity. If you do not handle it well and make a pronouncement outside, it is enough to blow the roof. As we government, we can only pacify and sue for dialogue”, he noted.

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