Massive protest organized by residents of the 25 local government council areas of Delta State on Tuesday grounded Asaba-Benin Expressway to a halt, while vehicular movements of travelers to the Eastern states were affected.
The protesters were armed with various placards, some of them which read: “Fulani herdsmen must leave our state, Okowa intervene now, the killing, rape of married women must stop, our crops in the farms have been destroyed, and our women cannot go out again.”
It would be recalled that over 63 communities in Delta State have been invaded by Fulani herdsmen who allegedly raped married woman, or destroyed crops in their farmlands.
Besides, they are also reported to have allegedly killed over 23 persons in the past six months.
But the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Alkali Baba Usman had told journalists at a news conference held last week that the police have arrested no fewer than 23 suspected Fulani herdsmen who allegedly killed some farmers including raping housewives.
Reports said the protesters barricaded the Summit Nnebisi Road in Asaba to Expressway leaving thousands of travelers stranded including tanker-drivers who had to park their trailers in compliance with orders from the protesters.
Though security agents were visible at every point of the protest, the situation became charged when the security agents tried to ward them off.
Leader of the protesters, Eric Warri who spoke to our correspondent, said: “We are protesting because of the Fulani herdsmen killing our people, they rape our people and destroy our farmlands”.
It was reliably gathered that the protesters had in the early hours stormed Government House where they were addressed at the gate by the Chief Security Officer (CSO) who did not want his name in the print.
The protesters chanting war songs vowed they will not go home until the state government did something on the alleged killings.
Speaking to journalists, the police image maker in the state Mrs. Celestina Kalu said the protest was peaceful even though it ‘‘unsettled Asaba – Benin Expressway.’’