Herdsman tried to behead my husband on our farm — Woman cries out
When Mr Festus Unah, a 50-year-old generator repairer, who also engages in subsistence farming, went with his wife to their farmland along Amorji Road, Obetim-Uno, Ndokwa West Local Government Area, Delta State on August 4, 2023, their mission was to rid the cassava farm of the weeds that had begun to sprout on it.
Things, however, did not go as planned as the man ended up at the General Hospital in Kwale after one of the herdsmen, who had led their cattle to graze on the cassava, attacked and inflicted a severe machete injury on his neck after an altercation.
Residents of the agrarian community had, in the last few months, bemoaned the activities of herdsmen who, they said, have destroyed over 300 farmlands in the community.
Narrating their ordeal, the wife, Patricia, who disclosed that they are residents of Umusadege-Kwale, said they got to the farm at about 5pm.
She further narrated, “On getting there, we met two herders with their cows grazing on the cassava. My husband now told them to take the cows from the farm.
“They started insulting my husband and, out of fear, l told my husband that we should start going because l could sense danger.
“But as my husband was turning to follow me, one of the herdsmen attacked him with a cutlass and tried to behead him and, in the process, inflicting a deep cut on his neck.
“The other one spoke to him in their language and signaled to him that they should leave and they ran away with their cows, leaving me alone with my husband.
“I had to run to an oil mill in a nearby camp where l work, met my colleagues and our Manager who now used a truck to carry my husband to hospital.”
Saying some police officers came to the hospital to see the husband after the matter was reported to them at the police station, she said they assured her that “any moment from now, they will find the Alhaji that owns the cows.”
“My husband is responding to treatment but he is finding it difficult to eat. He only manages to take pap and can barely speak.”
The wife called on Delta State government and the local government council in the area to come to their aid as they are presently finding it difficult to buy drugs recommended for the husband’s treatment.
“We are facing serious hardship and that is why we are into this farming so that we can have something to eat”, Mrs. Unah said.
“My husband is a generator and motorcycle mechanic but he does not have a shop. Some people, sometimes, call him from the house to repair their generators for them. If there is no work, he follows me to the farm”.
According to her, some persons had come to assist them with some money in the hospital but that is not enough.
“Someone came and gave them N10, 000 and another, N5, 000”, the wife added.
Coordinator of the Delta State Livestock Management Committee, DLMC, Mr. Matthew Ujene condemned the attack, describing it as an ugly situation.
“As a committee, we are seeing how we can manage the situation so that it will not escalate more than this”, Ujene said.
“We went to the hospital with the cattle owners and they assured that they are going to pay the hospital bill and the DPO has asked them to provide the person that cut the man”.
Contacted, Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Bright Edafe, confirmed the incident, saying effort was ongoing to arrest fleeing suspects