UGHELLI—WOMEN of Orhorho community, Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State, Nigeria protesting incessant rape and attack by herdsmen, barricaded the East-West Road, yesterday morning, preventing vehicles from the Warri and Port Harcourt ends from passing through.
The mothers and daughters of the community, numbering about 1,000, who sat on benches and woods on the expressway, blocked the highway at about 7.30a.m., following a brutal attack, yesterday morning, on a woman that went to the farm.
The victim, who fought off attempt by the herdsmen to rape her, was cut several times with machete by her assailants, who left her for dead.
When other women in the community got to know about the incident, they staged a protest and blocked the expressway in their community.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, said the police were aware of the peaceful protest by the women, and were monitoring the action with a view to calming down nerves and clearing the road.
While some of the women sat on the road, others demonstrated around the area with placards, some of which bore the inscriptions “We don’t want herdsmen on our land,” “Where is Okowa, come and rescue us,” “Security agencies, do your work,” “No farm, no road for anybody to pass.”
Thousands of motorists and their vehicles were trapped in the ensuing traffic snarl, while the women rejected entreaties by the police and Army to vacate the road.
They vowed to remain on the road until Governor Ifeanyi Okowa addresses them on the way out of the incessant attacks.
One of the women leaders said: “We don’t want herdsmen on our land. They are molesting our women. The ones that refuse to be molested, they will butcher them with cutlass. They are lords even in our bush with their cattle. They have molested up to 10 women and some victims are dead. The woman that was attacked this morning is lying on the ground in front of a chemist shop.”
Another villager added: “A native, Rufus, who went to the farm, was killed December 25 last year; these people are armed with AK-47 rifles and other sophisticated weapons.”