• Herdsmen demanding money from crop farmers before they could access their farms— Ifeanyi Okowa cries out
  • Indications emerged on Wednesday that
    steps have been to tackle the nagging
    issue of herdsmen/farmers clashes in
    parts of Delta State when two military
    helicopters were sighted hovering over
    Ughelli and its environs.
    Besides, several military vehicles were
    seen patrolling the communities, in what
    was learnt to be part of a two-day special
    combined operation of the Joint Task
    Force codenamed Operation Delta State
    (ODS), officials of the Department of State
    Security and the police.
    The development, however threw
    residents into panic, leading to temporary
    halt of socio-economic activities.
    Residents who noticed the presence of
    the military and the two hovering chopper
    confirmed the incident. They added that
    the sight of security operatives created
    tension and fears among residents.
    It would be recalled that the state
    governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa raised alarm
    that herdsmen had taken over
    communities in Ughelli where they were
    demanding money from crop farmers
    before they could access their farms.
    Our correspondent learnt that the
    operation was targeted at discovering
    herdsmen’s camps in the area with a view
    to dislodging the blood tasty goons.
    Security sources informed that the two-
    day operation would include aerial and
    land surveillance.
    Residents in Uwheru, Agadama and
    Ohoro, which have been under attack by
    herdsmen, said heavily armed security
    personnel in military vehicles stormed
    their communities and menacingly
    patrolled the streets.
    They claimed that their communities and
    others have suffered sustained attacks by
    herdsmen, leading to the killing of several
    persons with farmers being deprived from
    entering farmlands by suspected arms
    wielding herdsmen.
    A top security source who does not want
    to named confirmed the operation, and
    said the exercise was not unconnected
    with the spate of attacks by suspected
    herdsmen in the area.
    The source stated that although they were
    able to uncover herdsmen hideout, the
    hoodlums had allegedly fled their camps
    before the arrival of the security team.
    Contacted in Asaba, the State Police
    Public Relations Officer, DSP Andrew
    Aniamaka also confirmed the
    development, and added that it was a
    surveillance exercise at ensuring peace
    reigned in the area, urging residents to
    remain calm.
    According to him, “Everything that must
    be done within the law must be done to
    ensure that the people sleep with their
    eyes closed. It is the duty of the
    government and security agencies to
    ensure that the people feel safe.”

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