A former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Samuel Afolayan has lamented the destruction of his farmland by herdsmen.
He said the herdsmen burn 20 hectares of orange plantation, 20 hectares of cassava farm and five hectares of palm plantation in his farm that is about 500 hectares.
Speaking with journalists at Ibbo-Ile, Ekiti Local Government of Kwara State Afolayan who said that this is what Herdsmen put him through every years adding that the current havoc is about N200m, a loss he had lived with since the past ten years.
Afolayan said, “This destruction and burning of my farmland has become an annual routine,. This will be the first time of letting people know what has been happening in the last ten years. It is the cattle – rearers that have been damaging my things and right now there about three cases in court. Every year, my farm is burnt and we believed that it is not deliberate when it first started. They will go and arrest them, they will go the local chiefs and friends and beg them.”
“When I looked at the people that are engaged in this act, I found that they are people of low means, I will release them. But as times went on, I discovered that these boys are being sponsored by people of means and outside Kwara State, I have of recent somebody who is put in detention who is from Zamfara State. The one that is in court is from Niger State. So most of the damages I continued to have are from the north. They carry their cows, mindless of the size of what you have or get, they destroy it with impunity.”
“No less than 20 hectares of oranges, five hectares of palm trees and twenty hectares of cassava had been burn or destroyed this year. I am not an expert or a valuer but my estimation is that the current loss is over N200m”.
Meanwhile, Kwara State government has institted a compensation plan for affected persons and also directed the State Police Command to ensure compliance with the compensation mechanism earlier put in place by the State Security Council as an instrument to maintain peace between farmers and herdsmen.
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Media and Communications, Dr Muyideen Akorede, the directive was issued by the Security Council at its meeting on Wednesday in Ilorin.
The statement said that the council, which was chaired by Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, also directed community leaders to avoid inviting herdsmen or other individuals into their communities without the knowledge of the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Traditional Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari.
In addition the statement noted that the council received and took note of reports of cultism and other related activities in the State, and restated its call on landlords to properly scrutinize their prospective tenants before accommodating them.
Residents were also urged to be security conscious and report any suspicious activities or movement to the appropriate authorities.
The state government also called on the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to intensify their campaign against the abuse of prescription of drugs and other illicit drugs in the State.
The statement further added that the Council was briefed and took note of the developments in the fight against insurgency in the North-East and urged security agencies to increase surveillance and advised citizens to remain vigilant to prevent infiltration of the State by undesirable elements.
Also, the statement noted that the council took note of what it considered the ongoing violations of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code on political news and programmes as well as suspected hate speech on radio and television stations.
It, therefore, called on the broadcasting stations and individuals involved in such infractions to avoid actions capable of fanning the ember of disunity and causing breach of public peace and order in the State.
The council also directed security agencies and other relevant government bodies to draw the attention of the affected media houses to these infractions of the law and the consequences of continued violations of extant laws.
Beside Governor Ahmed, the security council meeting also had in attendance the deputy governor, Elder Peter Kisira,Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, State Attorney-General, Barr. Kamaldeen Ajibade, SAN, Chief of Staff, Government, Alhaji Yusuf Baba Wahab, and heads of security agencies in the state.
Recently the issue of harvoc by herdsmen had been reported by National NEWSBEAM especially in Benue state.
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