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Palpable tension has gripped residents of Obiaruku, Ukwani Local Government Area of Delta State after some suspected Fulani herdsmen allegedly held some farmers hostage in their farms .
PLATFORM TIMES also gathered that some of the farmers were chased away from their farmlands by the herdsmen who reportedly took over the farmlands .
PLATFORM TIMES further gathered that
the incident occurred on Saturday.
The development had raised tension in the community as the residents were seen discussing the fate of the farmers, who had yet to come back home.
The Herdsmen allegedly took over farmlands, seized food items from farmers and held some hostage.
Meanwhile, some vigilantes and youths had reportedly stormed the bushes on a rescue mission.
A resident of the community, who simply identified himself as Uti, stated that farmers had refused to return to their farms since Saturday when the incident occurred.
Uti stated, “The herdsmen held the farmers hostage, drove the Obiaruku people from their farms and put their cows on the farms to eat up cassava and other crops.
“The people are no longer going to their farms, that one I can ascertain.”
One of the farmers, Mrs Maria Obinta, said, “On my own farmland, the crops have been destroyed by the herders; I’m no longer going to the farm to harvest my cassava, because cows have eaten up the crops.
“Yes, some people were held hostage. The Chairman of the local government was in Asaba to speak to the Commissioner of Police about the matter. The chairman said he was consulting with security operatives to know what to do so that the people being held hostage can be released.
“It is almost getting to a week now; people are no longer going to farms; the herdsmen are heavily armed, so we are afraid.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Edafe Bright, said the report about the incident had not been brought to his notice.
“For now, we are not aware. There is nothing like that. If anything like that happened, they should report to the police,” he stated.