Five farmers have been feared killed in Abraka and Obiaruku communities in Ethiope East and Ukwuani local governments of Delta State, during clashes between farmers and suspected herdsmen.
It was learnt farmers in the communities had been in a long-drawn faceoff with the herdsmen bause of incessant destruction of their farms by grazing cattle.
Sources said tension escalated in the communities last week, following the clashes in which four men and one woman were killed.
The sources said victims in the Abraka incident included two cousins – Akpovona Felix and Sunday Akpupu – who were indigenes of Eku community though residents of Abraka.
Two of them were killed on their farms.
Akpovona’s and Sunday’s bodies were discovered on their farms last Wednesday, the day after they went there to clear the land but did not return home. Their bodies were recovered by community scavengers on Wednesday afternoon in a bush said to be prone to herdsmen attacks.
Akpovona, a father of five, was reportedly shot by the herdsmen while his cousin was hacked to death and his fingers chopped off.
The second incident happened on a farm near a forest reserve on the Abraka-Benin Road, a boundary area between Urhoka-Abraka and Obiaruku.
Two men and a woman were said to have been killed in the area. The victims were indigenes of Obiaruku community.
A resident, Progress Aganbi said: “They went to the farm last Tuesday but did not return. The next day, a search party was sent to look for them. It discovered their bodies at separate locations near a river bank close to their farm.”
Police spokesman Andrew Aniamaka, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said: “I can only confirm that of Abraka, where two persons were killed. It was first reported as a case of a missing person on January 3. A resident, Akpovena Godwin, was reported his brother’s case. They are from Eku community.
“By morning of January 4, they found the deceased and Sunday Akpokpo. Sunday was 40 years old while Felix Akpovena was 39. It was a case of murder. There’s the suspicion that it might have been a reprisal attack. We are still not giving up.” (The Nation)