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Five indigenes of Abraka and Obiarukwu both in Ethiope East and Ukwani local government areas of Delta State, were reportedly crushed during a clash between farmers and suspected Fulani herdsmen along the boundary of the neighbouring communities, The Sun reports.
It was gathered that there had been a protracted animosity between the Fulani herdsmen and farmers in both communities over incessant destruction of farmlands by cattle which the state government had attempted to intervene in for quite sometime.
Sources in the communities said tension climaxed during the week as the Fulani herdsmen stepped outside the temporary grazing line allocated to them, an action the community protested, thereby leading to a clash that claimed the lives of four men and a woman.
According to sources, the victims in the Abraka incident included two cousins; Akpovona Felix and Sunday Akpupu, from Eku community, but residents in Abraka. They were both reportedly killed on their farms.
It was learnt that Akpovona and Sunday’s lifeless bodies were discovered in their farms on Wednesday after they had gone for clearing on Tuesday and failed to return home.
Their corpses were recovered by community scavengers on Wednesday afternoon in a bush said to be prone to herdsmen attacks.
Akpovona, a father of five was said to have been shot by the herdsmen while his cousin was hacked to death and his finger chopped off.
Investigations revealed that the second incident happened in a farm along the Abraka-Benin Road, a boundary area between Urhoka-Abraka and Obiaruku, claiming the lives of two men and a woman. The victims were indigenes of Obiaruku community.
“They had gone to the farm last week Tuesday, when they did not return the next day, a search party was sent to look for them only to discover their lifeless bodies at separate locations by a river bank near their farms,” Progress Aganbi, a native of the area narrated.
Confirming the development, police spokesman in Delta State, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, said: “I could only confirm that of Abraka, where two persons were killed. It was first reported as a case of a missing person on the third day. One Akpovena Godwin reported that his brother was missing. They are from Eku community.
“By morning of the fourth day, they found the deceased and that of Sunday Akpokpo. Sunday Akpokpo was 40 years while Felix Akpovena was 39 years. It was an actual case of murder. There is the suspicion that it might have been a reprisal attack,” he said.