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Published On: Fri, Jun 5th, 2020

Operation Delta Hawk: An Old Wine In New Bottle Served To Deltans


By Chief (Barr) Malcolm Omirhobo
LAGOS JUNE 5TH (URHOBOTODAY)-On 22/5/2020, as the terror of the Fulani herdsmen against Deltans heightened and while Deltans were gripped with fear, Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa held a town hall meeting of stake holders in Delta State raising alarm and lamenting as is customary to him that our dear State , the big heart, is under the seizure and terror of Fulani herdsmen which is now a serious security challenge to Deltans and Nigerians and must be checked.
He opined and maintained as he has always done for over five years now that President Buhari and the Federal Government are working on a policy for Delta State to follow to stop the Fulani herdsmen from terrorising the peace loving, law abiding people of Delta State The Delta State Government further went on to establish Operation Delta Hawk a security out fit similar to Operation Amotekun of the South Western States of Nigeria to carry out community policing of the State . To flesh her new security outfit, Operation Delta Hawk, the Delta State Government, inaugurated the State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) and State Community Policing Committee (SCPC), on community policing, to check rising security challenges in the state.
As a concerned Nigerian citizen from Delta State , without prejudice to the long awaited Federal Government policy on how to stop the Fulani herdsmen from terrorising Deltans in their own land and the impact of Operation Delta Hawk , I ask how and when did Delta State become an occupied territory of the Fulani herdsmen whose homeland is hundreds of kilometers away in the Sahel ? Are we a conquered people in the twenty first century where acquisition of territory by conquest have been out law? Is Delta State a Cattle Colony or Ruga Settlement for Fulani herdsmen and their family? Has Delta State embrace the National Livestock Transformation program? Have we ceded our land for cattle colonies of the Federal government when we do not have enough land for our farmers considering the fact that a lot of our lands is already degraded from oil pollution ?

Has the Delta State Governor as trustee of our land assign it to Fulani herdsmen against our interest? How long are we going to be slaves in our own land and extorted to pay tolls to strangers before we can farm on our land? How long are Deltans going to be maimed, brutalised dehumanised , debased, gruesomely murdered and slaughtered in cold blood? How long are our women, daughters and mother’s going to be raped? How long will our people be robbed and kidnapped for ransom? How long will our farm land, produce, houses and properties be destroyed? How long will the Fulani herdsmen continue to commit all these crime against humanity against Deltans without any legal consequences against them? Do we have elected Governments at the Federal, State and Local Government Areas levels? Where are the Police and Military whose constitutional responsibility it is to protect the lives and properties of Nigerian Citizens? When are we going back to our farm lands , bushes and rivers to do what we are best known for, farming , hunting and fishing without fear or apprehension of been killed raped , kidnapped , brutalised by Fulani herdsmen ? When will our teachers and children be able to go to school without fear or apprehension?
When will the Fulani herdsmen stop taking our hospitality for granted ? How long will the patient of the Delta people be tested ? When will our people stop deserting their ancestral home lands out of fear and apprehension for the Fulani herdsmen to occupy? When can we through our subsistent farming start earning and feeding to ward off hunger, starvation and poverty? When are we going to start attending feast , festivals , burials , marriages , naming ceremonies ,coronations and chieftaincy title celebrations wake keepings , obitos , parties , sporting activities , night vigils and other social engagements. without fear and apprehension ? When are the victims of the atrocities of the Fulani herdsmen going to be compensated? And when are the marauding blood tasty Fulani herdsmen going to be brought to book so that their victims can get justice? What kind of legacy are we going to leave for our unborn generation ? When will our politicians stop mortgaging our future for their selfish political gains and favour from Abuja ? When will our politicians stop their sycophancy and hypocrisy?

When will our professionals, academicians and elites speak up and stand up against the menance of the Fullani herdsmen? When will Warri stop carrying last? Where are the Boma boys of Sapele ?Where are the Warri boys ? And where is Operation Crocodile Smile which the Federal Government pretentiously established in the Niger Delta to flush out criminals ? Are the act of the Fulani herdsmen living in our forest and bushes not criminal enough?
Fellow Deltans , the answers to the above questions and many more are begging for answers especially now that the Delta State Government has pretentiously racng against time established Operation Delta Hawk which to my mind is a superficial and cosmetic approach to solving the problem of Fulani herdsmen occupation of Deltans’ land and subjugation of the people of Delta State .
As Governor Okowa celebrates the anniversary of the first year of his second term in office, I dare say to him, his yes men , praise singers and sycophants that there is nothing for them to celebrate as long as the Delta State Government has not been able to secure and protect the lives and properties of Deltans. Under Governor Okowa’s watch Delta State has lost the lives of hundreds of its people and properties worth billions of Naira to the unprovoked , unwarranted , illegal and unlawful attacks by the Fulani herdsmen . For the records under the watch of Governor Okowa the following happened .
1. On 26/4/2016 Fulani herdsmen held 8 persons hostages in Obiaruku Community Ukwani Local Government Area of Delta State from 6.00am to 1.00pm and brutalized them claiming that four of their cattle were killed and butchered in the neighbourhood.
2. On Christmas day, 25/12/2016, Fulani herdsmen killed two vibrant young men in Ohoro, Uwheru Kingdom of Ughelli North, Local Government Area of Delta State who tried to stop cattle from destroying their farm produces.
3. On 24/3/2017, Fulani herdsmen, cruelly and gruesomely slaughtered Mr. Sunday Idama, a staff of the Delta State University at Ovre-Abraka Community, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State by cutting him severally with their Machetes until he bleed to death for challenging them for constantly uprooting his Cassava and feeding their Cows with them.
4 On 9/5/2017 in Abraka Ehthiope Local government area of Delta state, Fulani herdsmen used their cattle to block the road and open fire with their Ak-47 riffle on a team of police officers on routine patrol, killing an inspector on the spot and injuring three others.
5 On 19/1/2018, at Aniocha-Olona, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, marauding Fulani herdsmen killed a farmer by name Sunday Owneze who refused to allow their cattle graze on his farm land.
.6. In the early hours of 21/1/2018, four persons a woman and three men on their way to farm, at Ovwor-Olomu, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State were attacked by Fulani herdsmen. In the said attack the woman was gang raped while the men sustained grave injuries and later rushed to the Ughelli General Hospital.
7. On 21/2/2018 Mrs. Patience Akpomiemie and her husband Mr. Happy Akpomiemie were attacked in their farm at Abraka, Ethiope Local Government area of Delta State, by Fulani herdsmen who shot at them which resulted in the death of the husband on the spot while the wife died later at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, (DELSUTH), Oghara.
8 On 4/3/2018, Fulani herdsmen chopped off the fingers and toes of Mr. Osakwe Benard , a forty eight years old man , father of five and a farmer in Abraka Delta State for trying to stop them from grazing their herds from the farm.
9. For several years the Fulani herdsmen have been collecting tolls from the farmers of their host community Uwheru, Ughelli North, Local Government Area of Delta State before the indigene/owners of the land were allowed to access their farm. In March 2018 T the extortion by Fulani herdsmen occupying three Uwheru Community Communities was reported to the Delta State Government. The governor and the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 5,Mr Rasheed Akintunde only lamented over the disturbing situation of the extortion of the indigenes by Fulani herdsmen but took no step to bring the culprits to book.
10. On 17/3/2018, barely 24 hours after that Governor Okowa and Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 5, Mr Rasheed Akintunde lamentations , the Fulani herdsmen attacked and shot at farmers on fishing expedition in the bush at Oreba Village of Uwheru Community, instantly killing four and seriously injuring several others.
1 1. In 21/3/2018 addressing the Public the Governor Okowa said nothing of the lives wasted in Uwheru Community, compensation for the victims and how the perpetrators will be brought to book, but instead he expressed confidence that the Federal Government committee setup on the issue will proffer solutions for the Delta State Government to give policy trust for Nigerians to follow.
12. On 29/4/2018 after the plenty grammar and lamentations of Okowa Fulani herdsmen daggered two farmers to death at Onocha-Olana Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta.
13. On 29/4/2018 Fulani herdsmen attacked the residents of Ubulu-Uku Community, Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State severely injuring six persons over disagreement on the use of their land by the Fulani Herdsmen.
14.On 24/11/2018, one Anthony Ejabare, a 54 year old pipe-line guard was shot dead by Fulani herdsmen in the process of defending his wife from being raped by Fulani herdsmen at Edjekota,Ogor Kingdom\Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
15.On 2/2/2/19 Fulani herdsmen shot dead an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP, at Umuachi-Afor Community, Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Delta State who led a team of policemen to investigate the complaint by the community of Fulani herdsmen who had been terrorizing the area with kidnapping activities.
16. In April 2019, Fulani herdsmen with the assistance of some of Military Petsonel attempted to kidnap the traditional ruler of Uwheru Community , the Odion-rode Agbaowe of Fugbeya Oyise II of Uwheru but failed as a result of the resistance from the community youths .
17.On 18/5/2019 Fulani herdsmen killed a farmer Chief Albert Chikwe, the Ade of Abugba at his farm in Udo Village while another young man who was shot escaped with a bullet wound in Ubulu-uku Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State
18. Within two weeks in June 2019 Fulani herdsmen shot dead an illustrious son of Ubulu-Uku, Mr Chikwe Ojinji and the Medical Director of Goodnews Hospital Iselle-Uku, Dr Andrew Odozi a native of Onicha-Ugbo.
injuries.
19. On 7/6/2019 Governor Okowa met with the President Buhari , behind closed with any result as killings, raping, kidnapping, extortion , destruction of properties and subjugation of Deltans by the Fulani herdsmen excavated continued to date .
20. On14,/10/2019 in broad day light, at Issele-Azagba Mixed Secondary School n Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, Fulani herdsmen attacked the school killing a teacher and two pupils and abducted some teachers and pupils who were freed after sustaining bullet
21. On 4/2/2020; Fulani herdsmen hacked three policemen to death along the Ugbolu -Illah Road, in the Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.
22. On 13/2/2020 and 15/2/2020 respectively the Owheru Community was attacked by the Fulani herdsmen killing over 10 people, injuring several others and many more persons missing up till today. The Fulani herdsmen
burnt two of the corpses beyond recognition and buried others in shallow graves inside the bushes.
23. On 23/2/2020 , Fulani herdsmen killed two persons after abducting five other persons at Issele-Azagba in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State . Mrs Helen Benwari ‘s husband Daniel was killed, their daughter Ebie shut and she kidnapped only to be released after payment of ransom.
24. On 23/3/2020 Fulani herdsmen robbed the residence of one Mr. & Mrs.Josephh Graceland Estate in Okpanam, Oshimili north local government area of State Delta asked the wife to prepare rice for them and thereafter kidnapped the husband.
25. On 7/4/2020 at night, three Fulani herdsmen invaded Grace Land Estate, Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area, Delta State and killed one Mr. David , a labourer who was hit by bullets from the guns of the Fulani herdsmen, who shot sporadically in a bid to escape.
26. On 11/4)2020 , at mid night , Fulani herdsmen attacked the Celestial Church at Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State and killed the resident pastor, Stephen They Fulani herdsmen who raided their poultry farm at about 10p.m shooting indiscriminately.
27. On 23/4/2020 at Issele-Azagba in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, two poultry farm workers. The poultry manager and a security guard were brutally murdered by Fulani herdsmen who raided their poultry farm at about 10p.m shooting discriminately.
28. On 5/5/2020 two vibrant and gallant Deltan youth were killed by Fulani herdsmen , in Okpanam Community, in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State in their bid to rescue a woman and her daughter kidnapped Fulani herdsmen.
I do not know who the next victim will be , when , how or where but one thing for sure is that power is transient. ln no distant time all those in power today in Delta State will no long be in power. They will become ordinary citizens like you and me and will not be having all the protection and power that they have today . They will have no other place to retire to except their homes in Delta State because East, West, South or North home is the best . Without the power that they wield today they and their immediate family, extended family , loved ones and community will have to live in the hellhole that they have helped to create and then it will be too late in the day to complain because nobody will listen to them . Once you are not in power in Nigeria , there is little or nothing that you can do and if I am lying , please ask the out gone governors of Delta State because they and their families are not free from the menace of the Fulani herdsmen. And if you are not satisfied with their anwers you may ask a two time number one citizen of Nigeria ,who is today busy running from pillar to post crying and screaming blue murder, writing love letters to the powers that be in Abuja on the Fulanization of Nigeria to no avail.
In order for Governor Okowa not to fall into the category of leaders who wake up from their slumber after their term in office to become emergency activitist , he must ensure that his government do the followings :
Educate and enlighten Deltans of their rights that are being violated by Fulani herdsmen because it is only a person that knows his right that can as for his right .
Assure and ensure Deltans that they will get justice when their rights are , is being or about to be violated by the Fulani herdsmen or any body for that matter .

Pass Anti Open grazing of Cattle laws like Ekiti, Taraba, Benue and recently Oyo States to protect the lives and properties of the Nigerian Public in Delta State from the attacks of Fulani herdsmen .
If the Fulani herdsmen must do business in Delta State encourage and assist them to practise ranching by giving them short term lease on land that is if there are available land considering the fact that vast region of our land have been polluted by oil exploration.
Compile the list of all reported cases of Fulani herdsmen attack and ensure that all the victims are restituted and/or compensatedand
Compile the list of all reported cases of Fulani herdsmen attack and ensure that the victims get justice through the Nigeria criminal justice system .
Unarmed the Fulani herdsmen of their automatic rifle , A K 47 and other dangerous weapons because no Nigerian Citizen is entitled to bear such arms
Identify the strong hold of criminal Fulani herdsmen in our forest and bushes and smoke them.out .
Stop full reliance on the Federal Government and the Nigerian Police who are tacitly supporting the Fulani herdsmen nefarious activities .
Ensure that the law establishing ,Operation Delta Hawk is well published and the public educated and enlightened on it .
Ensure that Local Vigilante groups in Delta State and the Operation Delta Hawk are well equipped , trained , motivated and armed with fire pwer o match the Fullani heardsmen tormenting Deltans .
Put the Nigerian Police on their toes by ensuring that they do their job of protecting the life and property of Deltans without compromise .
Stand toe to toe with the Nigerian Military by asking them to stop supporting and or taking sides with the Fulani herdsmen .
The Delta State Government must stop licking the Ass of the powers that be in Abuja when it comes to the protection of the life and property of Deltans .
It is only when the above are done that the Delta State Government can win the trust and confidence of Deltans that Operation Delta Hawk is not an old wine in new bottle served to them .

Chief (Barr) Malcolm Omirhobo, a Social Activist writes from Lagos

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