The youths of Okumoni Community in Okordia clan, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have issued a warning.
Reports have indicated that two chiefs from Zarama and Okumoni communities were allegedly killed while several others were injured in an attack by herdsmen just last week.
The development has left the community members in shock and frustration.
Comrade Raymond Akadumeme, Chairman of the Ijaw Youths Council in Okordia clan, stated that the situation is unacceptable, and the people can no longer watch as herdsmen kill their people while the security operatives remain silent.
“Enough is enough, we will have to protect ourselves violently. Our people were fishing in lake Sam, and they brought their cows to graze where we have a farmland, attempt to refrain them from destroying our cassava farm led to the killing of our deputy paramount ruler,” he said.
“We call on the government to take every necessary action to nip this in the bud, we can’t be slaves in our own community, just because they were told to move their cows away from our farmland, they resorted to killings, we won’t accept it anymore.
“They were told to move their cows away from the land, and they refused, while we insisted, they went straight and brought a gun and shot at the deceased with two other persons. By the time other people ran into the community to raise alarm, they ran away while we met the injured persons and the deceased on the floor, bleeding.
“We had to move those injured to the hospital while the deceased was deposited in the morgue. We have informed the necessary authorities of the issue.”
Another youth leader, Mr Alika Kemebi Betterland of Ayamabele Community, stated Mr Bob Wilson is the second victim of a herdsmen assault, after the first, which killed Chief Alexander Diri in the same terrible way only last week.
He claimed that the situation is rapidly worsening since they are powerless at the moment and no one is saying anything, adding that they carry rifles at will in the forest under the name of grazing while firing whenever they are urged to do the proper thing.
He said, “They attack the fishing lakeside in the early hours of Monday without any form of resistance hence, when the news came to the community, some youths went into the forest, not for reprisal or retaliation but to rescue the victims and it was done, if not we would have had more casualties.
“As we speak, they are still in the forest roaming about. We have created awareness because we can’t remain silent while our people are dying. Some of those injured and later rescued are currently in the hospital responding to treatment.”
Reacting to the incident, the Bayelsa State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Asinim Butswat, said, “On 20th March 2023, One Chief Bob Wilson 49 years was allegedly killed by suspected herdsmen at Okumoni forest, Okordia.
“Police detectives have visited the scene and evacuated the corpse to the mortuary for autopsy. Investigation is ongoing.”