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Secretary To The Delta State Government Held Hostage By Women Protesting Attacks By Fulani Herdsmen

October 24, 2016

Protesting Ossissa women, numbering over 2000, on Monday morning held hostage the Secretary to the Delta State Government (SSG), Mr. Festus Agas, on the busy Asaba-Kwale-Ozoro-Warri road.

The protest, which almost turned violent, saw the angry women, who barricaded the road, advancing to attack Mr. Agas in his official vehicle as security men fought hard to ensure his security.

The women were protesting the harassment, killing of their people the raping of their fellow women and destruction of their farms by Fulani herdsmen.  They prevented the SSG’s convoy, which included several other state officials, from moving on until the issues were addressed.

One of the women, who simply identified herself as Madam Nkem, told SaharaReporters that they decided to hold Mr. Agas and other government officials hostage following the inability of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to deal with the issues they had identified, adding that the governor and his team have disappointment the people.

"Several innocent Deltans have died following the activities of the Fulani herdsmen in the state and governor Okowa and his government have refused to do anything about the whole thing because none of his family members is being affected, Mrs. Nkem said. 

"We want the Fulani herdsmen to leave our land and community, because the Fulani herdsmen always rape our women and girls in the presence of their men at gun point, and their cattle are destroying our crops, killing our people and so many other things." 

The women, who demanded to speak with Governor Okowa alone, challenged him to emulate the action of his Ekiti State counterpart against Fulani herdsmen, saying that if that is not done, they will embark on a mass protest to Government House in Asaba.

SaharaReporters correspondent, who stumbled onto the protest, saw soldiers and policemen confiscating phones from anyone who made an attempt to take photos of the SSG and his officials during the protest. After several hours of the hostage situation, the security men disguised the restless SSG and whisked him away from the crowd in a Hilux van.

As of the time of filing this report, the protesting women were still on the road.

Also on Monday, angry women in Edo State blocked the Uselu/Ugbowo section of the Benin-Lagos highway.

The News Agency of Nigeria said the women, led by the Uselu Market Women Association, were protesting plans by the Egor Local Government Area of Edo State to relocate traders, and the directive to lock up council-built stores.



Human Rights