Edo State police command has confirmed the killing of seven persons, including farmers, in Ovia north-east local government area of Edo state, by gunmen suspected to be criminal herdsmen.
The victims were killed on Wednesday, at Ugboke, Oshodi, Okokodo, Ariyan and Yoruba camps, major farming communities in the local government area.
An indigene of the area, Mrs. Janet Ighodaro, who spoke to journalists in Benin on Thursday, alleged that the suspected herdsmen took over the popularly-known Yoruba camp, as a base to launch attacks into other communities in our state.
She further alleged that she was lucky to have escaped stray bullets during the attacks, after which she ran for safety to take refuge with her family in Benin City, the state capital.
Mrs. Ighodaro added that four of the victims were returning from their farm when they were shot and killed on the spot.
She lamented the absence of security operatives in the farming communities, adding that when the police were contacted, they stopped at Okhokhua, a neibghouring community, and refused to pgo further into the bushes.
She added that they requested that the villagers should bring the dead bodies to them in their location.
She therefore called on security agents to come to their rescue as a matter of urgency.
When contacted on phone, the state police command spokesman, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed the incident and said efforts were being made to arrest the perpetrators.
“The state police command is aware of the incident that happened within the jurisdiction of Ekhiadolor divisional police command.
“The DPO and his operatives visited the crime site and evacuated the bodies and moves are on to ensure that the place is calm and lives return to normalcy.
“Also, the police is carrying out its investigation to effect the arrest of the criminal herdsmen who perpetuated the dastardly acts.
“The command is bent on using every legal means to fish out the criminals,” Nwabuzor added.