A farmer in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s hometown in Bayelsa State, Mr Goodhead Nation, says a Fulani herdsman stabbed him and his son on the head, palm and buttocks over an allegation that they stole his missing cow.
The farmer added that his son could have died if not for emergency medical assistance, noting that he was afraid to go back to his plantation where the herdsman had attacked them.
Speaking with Punch, the farmer explained that he and his 18-year-old son never saw the cow not to talk of knowing its whereabouts, but the herder went on to brutalise them with machetes on their farm.
“We were attacked on Friday, February 18, 2021. My son and I were in my palm plantation, cutting palm on that day. Suddenly, around 4pm, one Fulani herder ran into the plantation. He charged towards me and asked me for his cow. He said, ‘Papa, where is my cow? You have stolen my cow. Where is my cow? You took my cow.’ And I asked him what cow he was talking about. I told him I didn’t know what he was talking about and that, as he could see, I had been busy on my palm plantation. I told him we had not seen his cow and it was not with us.
“While he was talking with me, my son was on the other side of the plantation, cutting palm. My son had been cutting the palm while I was carrying it. The herder asked me repeatedly for his missing cow and I told him often to look elsewhere for his cow. He was holding a big stick and a machete in his hands when he ran into the plantation. Suddenly, he tried to hit my head with the stick but I blocked it with my hand.
“He attempted again and I still blocked it with my hand. He then ran towards my son, who took to his heels. He pursued my son and I heard my son shouting, ‘He is pursuing me, he is pursuing me.’ After a while, I did not hear my son’s voice again. So, I also raised the alarm. I started shouting for help, saying that a herder wanted to kill us. Later, he was found.
“Some people nearby saw us and brought their canoe. We paddled to Otuoke, our community, and took him to the hospital there but they did not have a blood bank. They turned us back because my son was losing blood. Some community development officials assisted us and got a vehicle to take us to the FMC (Federal Medical Centre), Yenagoa, in the night. When we arrived, they started treating him, washing his wounds and taking care of him. The herder cut my son with a machete.
“He cut him on his head, right palm and buttocks, maybe when he fell on the ground. So, he cut him on three parts of his body. I cried because my son is my only helper and he cut his right palm.”