OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives on Wednesday appealed to the federal government to mobilize security personnel to dislodge invading suspected herdsmen in Obiaruku communities in Delta State.
The House also requested the federal government to intensify efforts at ensuring that peace is restored to the troubled communities.
The lawmakers further urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the victims at Obiaruku, Umuebu, Eziopkor, Obinomba, Owah-Abbi, Ebedei, and Umutu communities in the south-south.
The lawmakers also mandated the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence to visit Obiaruku Communities. The visit would help investigate and ascertain the security situation and extent of damage on the communities and report back within two (2) weeks for further legislative action.
The motion titled “Alleged Invasion and Attacks by Suspected Herdsmen on Obiaruku Communities in Delta State” was brought by Mr. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta).
In his lead debate, the lawmaker representing Ndokwa East/Ndokwa West/Ukwuani noted that “…since the first week of July 2021, suspected herdsmen have been invading, attacking and taking over communities’ farmlands and other landed properties in Obiaruku, Umuebu, Eziopkor, Obinomba, Owah-Abbi, Ebedei, and Umutu Communities in Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency of Delta State”.
He also explained that the suspected herdsmen barricaded the major entrance leading to the communities and their farmlands and that such actions deprived members of the communities from accessing their farms which is their primary source of livelihood.
Ossai further disclosed that “women who manage to enter their farms are being raped on a daily basis by the herdsmen who continue to destroy economic trees, farm produce and other staple crops such as yams, cassava, maize, vegetable products etc in the communities.
“The indiscriminate and sporadic shootings in the communities by the suspected herdsmen have resulted in the death of hundreds of people and some of the corpses are presently in the mortuary while others have been buried.”
Additionally, he expressed concern that people of the affected communities could no longer go to the farm. And as such, they have to pay vigilante groups to escort them to their farm on specific announced days. “We are concerned that as a result of the attacks, there has been a rise in prices of foodstuff which is causing untold hardships on the people”.
In quoting parts of the Constitution, Ossai pointed that “Section 44 sub-section 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that no movable property or any interest in an immovable property shall be taken possession of compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by a law. Also cognizant that section 14 sub-section 2 (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 provides that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”