Cows harassing even neighbourhoods
Women from the Epie/Atisa communities in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State recently staged a peaceful protest against the menace herdsmen.
The women who were waving leaves at the Tombia Roundabout, Etegwe axis of the state capital, also barricaded the ever busy Mbiama/ Yenagoa Road, which is the major road leading into the state capital-to drive home their demand for herdsmen to vacate their farmlands and end the destruction of their crops as agrarian communities.
Former governor of the state, Seriake Dickson had during his
second tenure, set up a committee to enforce restriction of grazing activities to the Bayelsa State oil Palm Estate at Elebele, near Yenegoa.
However, nothing was done to apprehend and punish defaulters and it became a common thing to see herdsmen move their cattle along major roads in the state capital and Amassoma, leaving a trail of foul smelling dropping and causing grid locks on highways.
Farmers have also been feeling the brunt of open grazing activities, as their crops are not spared by the herdsmen who, clandestinely, allow their animals to destroy farms without any recriminations.
With the state government keeping quiet over the menace posed by the herdsmen, the women took the bull by the horn by staging the protest to draw public attention to the wanton destruction of their livelihoods and the grave pain it is causing them.
The protesting women were shouting that enough is enough and that herdsmen should leave their farmlands. They called on government to protect them and their crops from the herdsmen.
One of them said: “We cannot continue to keep quiet over this issue. We don’t want cattle in our area again. It is time for government to act before something else happens.