Ebira farmers in Ondo state,who are from Kogi state, at the weekend protested the alleged invasion of their farmlands and attack of their members by the ‘wandering’ herders.
Sources said 20 Ebira farmers, dealing in cash crops such as yams,cassava,potatoes and others, were already receiving medical attention in various hospitals across the state as a result of the attack.
The aggrieved farmers are operating in Elegbeka,Ago gboro,Oba-Ile,Iju-Itaogbolu,Ologido,Malege and Ogbese among other settlements.
They pleaded with Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to quickly intervene on the incessant attack on them and their crops by the herders.
The chairman,Ebira Farmers Association(EFA) Alhaji Amuju Ovoro said: ” Fulani herders are attacking us on regular basis,they will invade our farm with their cows and uprooting our crops prematurely causing unprecedented losses
“Our crops are being destroyed,our water contaminated, the herdsmen will arm themselves with offensive weapons in the den of the night with their mission of massive destruction on our farm crops and assault on us.
” They even went to the extent of raping our women. We are pleading with the governor to rescue us,we are peace-lovers and have been operating in Ondo state for several decades without molestation from any quarters.
President of Ebira Community,Alhaji Abdulsalam Dagana,who noted that their second home is Ondo state,said he was born and trained with proceeds from his parents’ farms in the state.
According to him: “The Fulani herdsmen are committing many atrocities against my kinsmen,Akeredolu should kindly wade into this matter before it goes out of hand.
“We want peace for Ondo state,we are sojourning here for our daily bread,Ebira people are no cowards,we don’t want to create tension in the state,the governor should intervene immediately as an advocate of peace.
The Special Assistant(SA) to the Governor on Ebira community matters,Hon.Hassan Ahete, however pleaded with his kinsmen to remain calm.
According to him,he has been meeting with his people from camp to camp,pleading for peace in spite of the recent development.
He said the herdsmen had attacked his people several times in the past,stressing that with the present situation, he would take their case to the appropriate quarters for prompt action.
Ahete assured that Akeredolu would not tolerate breach of peace in any part of the state,adding that the governor would take swift action on the matter.
Spokesman of the state police command, Femi Joseph said the matter had not been officially reported at the Police Command.
He however said if such incident happened,the farmers should let the police know, stressing that offenders would be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
The police spokesman said the command would not tolerate any act capable of disrupting the peace of the state.
Source: The Nation