By Fegor Oghene, Asaba
No fewer than five farmers were feared killed in Abraka and Obiaruku communities, both in Ethiope East and Ukwuani council areas of Delta State.
The deceased were killed during clashes between farmers in the communities and suspected herdsmen.
The farmers have been in a long-drawn faceoff with the herdsmen over incessant destruction of their farms by grazing cattle.
According to community sources, tension increased during the week following the clashes, which had claimed lives of four men and one woman.
According to sources, the victims in the Abraka incident included two cousins; Akpovona Felix and Sunday Akpupu, who were indigenes of Eku community, but residents of Abraka. Two of them were killed in their farms.
Akpovona and Sunday’s lifeless bodies were discovered in their farms on Wednesday after they had gone for clearing on Tuesday and failed to return home.
Their corpses were recovered by community scavengers on Wednesday afternoon in a bush said to be very prone to herdsmen attacks.
Akpovona, a father of five was said to have been shot by the herdsmen while his cousin was hacked to death and his finger cut off.
The second incident happened in a farm around a forest reserve along the Abraka-Benin Road, a boundary area between Urhoka-Abraka and Obiaruku, claiming the lives of two men and a woman. The victims were indigenes of Obiaruku community.
“They had gone to the farm last week Tuesday, when they did not return, the next day, a search party was sent to look for them only to discover their lifeless bodies at separate locations by a river bank near their farm”, Progress Aganbi, a native of the area narrated.
Confirming the development, the police spokesman in Delta state, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, said “I could only confirm that of Abraka, where two persons were killed. It was first reported as a case of a missing person on the third, one Akpovena Godwin was the one who reported that his brother. They are from Eku community.
“By morning of fourth, the found the deceased and that of Sunday Akpokpo. Sunday Akpokpo was 40 years while Felix Akpovena was 39 years. It was an actual case of murder. There’s the suspicion that it might have been a reprisal attack. We are still not giving up”, he said.