The Oasis Reporters
January 7, 2021
By Curtis Ogbebor
The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, has described as fake the news making the rounds alleging that a community in Ovia North East Local Government of the state has been invaded and seized by marauding bandits.
Ogbadu disclosed this when he led a joint security team including the Police, Army, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and local vigilante, among others, to the community.
The Police Commissioner who was represented by the Command Public Relations Officer, SP Kantonge Bello, gave reassurances on the commitment of the security agencies to the protection of lives and property of residents.
According to him, “The news making the rounds on social media that a community in Edo State was sacked over the weekend by herdsmen is not true. A joint security force made up of the Army and Police have visited the area to get first-hand information on the issue.
“We have been directed following the report of the sack of the community, which is why we came here with journalists to visit the community. It was an issue of farmer and herders clash.”
Describing the story as false, Ogbadu noted nobody was killed nor houses burnt as alleged in the fake news.
He stated, “People are agitated by the story; we are here to ensure the tension is reduced. The community has not been sacked as reported by some aspects of the media. No house was burnt and nobody killed. We visited the village in the company of the Area Commander, DPO Ekiadolor and the Army.
“We want to assure the people that are residing here that they are safe. We assure you of the safety of lives and property. This delegation is here to show that the government and security agencies are committed to ensuring that there is no breakdown of law and order in the state.”
In another development, the program, ‘Peace & Safety’ on Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS), With Caesar Garrick, Comrade Enubun Influence, Curtis Ogbebor and Odionware Mr. Agbonifo Francis, the youth Vice Chairman, Mr. Okunduwa of Oshodin community in Ovia North East Local Government of Edo state testified to herdsmen invasion into their communities.
According to the community leaders who were eye witness, said herdsmen invaded over 5 communities in their environ, fired guns into the air, in some communities demanded to see the vigilante personnel preventing them from entering their communities. The herdsmen went into their farms, pursued farmers, told some farmers “that their crops belong to them and they will use it to feed their cows”.
Mr. Agbonifo said he and several others ran away from their communities, and are currently seeking refuge in different locations in Benin City.
Mr. Okunduwa who allegedly called the Commissioner of Police on the 3rd of January 2021 to report the said invasion reaffirmed that the Compol accused him of running away from herdsmen, asked him to go back with his people to confront them.
Meanwhile, the video posted earlier was that of Mr. Gaius Osifo of Evboesi community in Orhionmwon local Government council of Edo State. Mr. Osifo could not make it to join the discussants in the studio but sent his video to the studio
He said herdsmen invaded their farms on 2nd, 3rd of January 2022, destroyed their farm produce, drove them out of their farms. And according to Mr. Monday who is a member of the Vigilante group in Evboesi community, they sighted the herdsmen with AK47 rifles and double magazines trying to gain access to their community from the Abraka axis of Delta state but resisted them.
During the program, the commissioner of police and Edo state social media proponents were advised to withdraw the misleading statement credited to the commissioner of police which says; there was no invasion in any part of Edo state.
With a Government press release.