Senate condemns alleged rape, killings by herdsmen in Edo

Senate on Wednesday condemned the recent alleged rape and killing of two women, Mrs. Martina Emoyon and Mrs. Ariu, on a farmland located in Ewu community, Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State, by suspected Fulani herdsmen. This was as the upper legislative chamber urged security agencies to “halt, apprehend and bring to justice these criminal elements posing as herdsmen who derive pleasure in destroying lives and properties across Nigeria.” 

The Senate in the resolution following a motion of urgent national importance sponsored under Point of Order 42 of its Standing Rule by Senator Clifford Ordia (PDP Edo Central), also advised the federal government to take up immediately the health need of Ehimen Donald Abuya allegedly shot by the suspected herdsmen and presently lying critically ill at Irrua Specialist Hospital, with a view to securing adequate and proper treatment for him. Similarly, it urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to as a matter of urgency visit Ewu community to ascertain the extent of damage with a view to providing relief materials to families of the bereaved and other persons presently displaced and denied access to their farmlands. 

The senators, who observe a minute silence for those who lost their lives in the Edo attack and all other previous ones across the country, condemned “the criminal activities of some elements among cattle herdsmen who use the cover of their trade to perpetrate harrowing destruction of people’s farms and engage in other sundry criminal activities across the country.”

In his lead debate on the motion on ‘The Need to Curtail the Activities of the Fulani Herdsmen,’ Senator Ordia said the Senate noted 

“with serious concern the heinous and criminal activities being perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen who in the violent act of ravaging communities, depriving persons of right to life and prosperity, raping, defiling women and destroying farm crops amongst other criminal activities across the country.” 

He recalled that “on May 22, 2017, these ravaging herdsmen entered into farmland located in Ewu community, Esan Central Local Government of Edo State, raping two women, Mrs. Martina Emoyon and Mrs. Ariu and strangled them to death, destroyed crops and sacked a lot of persons from their various farmlands. 

“Consequent upon these criminal activities of the Fulani herdsmen, the youths of Ewu engaged in a peaceful protest to draw the attention of the federal government to the problem.

Sadly, one Ehimen Donald Abuya was shot and the victim is presently lying critically ill at Irrua Specialist Hospital. Since this destructive attack, it has been observed that no farmer in the communities have engaged in farming activities for fear of being killed. 

“Despite the public outcry and previous resolutions of the National Assembly as regards the criminal activities of herdsmen, there seems to be no visible action on the part of government to curtail, abate or totally stop the criminal activities of these criminal elements among Fulani herdsmen,” he stressed. 
Senator Ordia said though Section 43 of the constitution provides that every citizen shall have a right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria, he added that Section 14(b) clearly provides that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.

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