Herdsmen destroyed our multi-million naira farm harvests - Ekiti farmers

Herdsmen destroyed our multi-million naira farm harvests - Ekiti farmers

- Farmers are counting their losses following the invasion of their farmlands in Orin-Ekiti, Ekiti state

- The herdsmen were said to have destroyed farm harvests worth millions of naira

- The farmers say the herders are already moving to other farms in the area

A report by the Nigerian Tribune has detailed how herdsmen destroyed farm harvests worth millions of naira in Orin-Ekiti, in Ido-Osi local government area of Ekiti state.

According to the report, farmers in the area are lamenting and counting their losses after the herdsmen moved their herds to destroy crops such as maize, cassava, beans, cucumber, cowpea, among others worth over millions of naira.

A farmer, Mr. Olawale Olajubaje said his farm, including a maize barn was completely destroyed by the herds.

He noted that the herdsmen wielded dangerous weapons when accosted in his farmland, “threatening to attack anyone who challenges them.”

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His words: “The Fulani herdsmen brought their cattle to our farms. The cassava we stored in the farm was destroyed at the middle of the night on Sunday. Even beans, cassava, water melon, cucumber that we are yet to harvest were destroyed for their cattle to eat.

“Luckily when I was in the farm on Monday, I saw about 15 of them wielding dangerous weapons and I greeted them but they never answered me. As for my farm, crops worth N1.5 million were destroyed and I don’t know how I will cope and survive now.

“The challenge we are facing in the community now is that we don’t know when they will be coming back to our farms. We are in serious fear, considering what happened in June this year when a hunter was killed by these people. We can only beg our government to help us in this community.”

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Another farmer, Mr. Aina Adeniyi said his one hectare of maize farm was badly affected, adding that the herders are moving to other farms in the area.

He called on the state government and the security agents to save the community from the hands of herdsmen.

“They are doing as if nobody can control them, which is very bad and unfortunate. In my maize farm alone, what they destroyed with their cattle is worth several thousands of naira. We can only call on our government to urgently address this issue once and for all before it will get out of hand,” he said.

On his part, Mr. Odeyemi Adebayo revealed that all his investments on his farmland over the years have been destroyed, calling on government to assist the affected farmers in getting part, if not all, of their investment back.

“We want government to assist us so that this people will not send us away from our community because now they have taken over our farms. I have lost everything on my farm and that is a lot of money,” he said.

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The head of the community and Eletin of Orin-Ekiti, Chief Francis Faluadescribed the latest attack of the herdsmen as a “massive destruction” of their farmlands.

He lamented that residents could no longer sleep with their two eyes closed with fear of being attacked by the herdsmen.

“These people (herdsmen) are gradually sending us away from our community as a result of their activities. There is nothing remaining in our farms, it is a massive destruction of our farm products now,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, the Imo state government has disowned an ultimatum issued by a group, under the aegis of Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, giving herdsmen to leave the state in 24 hours. I

n a statement sent to journalists on Monday, November 18, the spokesman to the Governor Emeka Ihedioha, Chibuike Onyeukwu, stated that the group lacks legitimacy to speak for the state.

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Onyeukwu described the report of the ultimatum as an embarrassment to the government and people of the state, urging members of the public to disregard it.

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