The Maize Growers Processing Marketer Association of Nigeria on Tuesday accused some herdsmen of grazing their cattle indiscriminately, thereby destroying a multi-million naira maize farm alongAdo-Ijan Road in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
MAGPAMAN Secretary in Ekiti, Mr Tope Emmanuel, lamented that the farmers sourced N60.8m from the Central Bank of Nigeria to cultivate the maize farms on about 235 hectares, adding that the projected profit was N410m.
Emmanuel, who alleged that the herders had been terrorising the farmers said, “They invaded the farm at night with weapons and fed their cows with our plant. All efforts to stop them were rebuffed.
“We are begging the state government to save us as our members are really in a difficult situation in view of the loan,” the farmer said.
He said the police and the State Security Network Agency (Amotekun Corps) had been briefed on the incident.
However, the Ekiti Amotekun Corps Commander, Brig-Gen Joe Komolafe (retd), said, “We are handling the situation.”
Fayemi inaugurates farmer, herder panel
Meanwhile, the state governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday inaugurated a body, the Ekiti State Farmers-Herders Peace Committee’ to foster peaceful co-existence among the s ethnic nationalities in the state.
Fayemi, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Security Matters, Brig. Gen. Ebenezer Ogundana (retd.), said herdsmen in the state would register with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and issued identification to separate genuine herders from criminal elements.
The governor urged the committee to work with communities, traditional rulers and security agencies to ensure that farmers-herders clashes became things of the past in the state.
“These leaders would be held responsible in case of any break down of law and order in such community,” he said.