The Edo State Police command said it would enhance regular personnel patrol in troubled Abumere II, a community in Ovia North-East local government area of Edo State. This is even as the police insisted that no woman was raped by herdsmen in the community.
The command said the move was to forestall a breakdown of law and order; arising from the reported disagreement between herders and farmers.
Spokesman for the state police command, SP Bello Kontongs disclosed this during a joint security visit to the community, yesterday.
Kontongs described as false, media reports that herders had raped women, set houses on fire and sacked the community.
According to him, “What we have here is herders, farmers’ disagreement. And the CP and the state government have directed that we visit and restore normalcy”.
The state police commissioner, Mr Phillip Ogbadu delegation was led by ACP Badaru Musa, whilst the Army Brigade was represented by Major AJ Isa.
It would be recalled that herders were reported to have stormed the community on Sunday, fired shots into the sky.
It was gathered that the herders requested to see the community head and members of the local vigilante group.
In his remark, the leader of Abumere 11 community, Mr Solomon Omoragbon said he was in Benin City when the herders came to issue the stern warning to the people.
“I can say very clearly that no single house was burnt, no woman was raped as reported but they came with guns to warn us to leave our farm produce for their cow.
“They instructed us not to ring our bell anymore and we should bring out any vigilante out, stop setting fire at night. Ask us to tell our vigilantes in the area to stop shooting guns.
“I haven’t seen the herdsmen but I saw the food items they ate”, he said.
Pius Osai, a resident in the community said: “The herders numbering 10 warned us to stop ringing the community bell and stop the vigilantes from firing gun shots.
“They (herders) also cautioned us against obstructing their cows from feeding on our plantain and other crops on our farm lands.
“As I speak, we no longer go to our farms for fear of our lives. The cattle are now feeding on our crops,” Osai stated.