I Lost Cassava Farm Worth Over N15million To Herdsmen's Menace, Cries Ogun Community Leader - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Thursday, January 30, 2020

I Lost Cassava Farm Worth Over N15million To Herdsmen's Menace, Cries Ogun Community Leader

                           • Oluomo of Iseluland

From Heritage Odih,

The Oluomo of Iseluland in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Chief Kudoro Michael is not a happy man.  

With revolving loans sourced from Cooperatives, micro - finance bank and private individuals, the community leader had ventured into agriculture with concentration on largescale cassava farming since the return of democracy, ostensibly to tap into the gains of big time farming but the expected benefits have remained largely elusive with each passing year while the burden of loans payment gets heavier. 

The failure to reap quality profits has nothing to do with poor harvest, market price fluctuation or adverse weather which farmers occasionally contend with. What is taking the joy of farming off him, he said, is the steady assault on his farm by the buroro Fulani herdsmen from the Republic of Niger and Chad, who in their hundreds have literarily taken over their native lands in Oja Odan and its environs, pouring over 8,000 heads of cattle into their farmlands and forests.

Kudoro told The Daily Crucible that he has lost over N15million worth of cassava in the last 10 years to the menace of herdsmen and their cattle.

He said the routine ravaging of his farm peaked about two years ago when the herdsmen herded their cattle into his 100 hectares of his cassava plantation in a predawn invasion, destroying over 10 hectares of it before noon after the animals had gorged themselves with leaves and stems of cassava.

Chief Oluomo was among the tens of farmers - men and women, from over a dozen of villages in Oja Odan community and its environs who, on Tuesday, protested the incessant attacks on them by herdsmen and wanton destruction of their farm crops by grazing cattle.

At the Palace of the traditional ruler of the area, the Eselu of Iseluland, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi, Chief Michael told The Daily Crucible further that he managed to apprehend one of the herdsmen that invaded his farm with cattle and handed him over to the Police, but after taken an inventory of what was destroyed and arrived at N2.5m loss, the Police said the Herdsman could only afford to pay N50,000 as compensation, which he turned down with a warning  that they would not be  anymore grazing on his farm.

He lamented that the Herdsmen that seized their area are stubborn, daring and without conscience, saying despite repeated warnings to steer clear of his farm, the buroro herdsmen's cattle have returned with impunity, eating as much cassava as they could and trampling down others along their paths. 

He also recalled that the town's monarch, Oba Akinyemi, in his effort in curtail the menace of the Buroro Fulani herdsmen, once secured an interlocutory injunction against them but they refused to honour nor adhere to the ruling of the court. 

Curiously, he exonerated President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration of any blame over  the incessant attacks and destruction of farm crops in the area by herdsmen. He said that the problem predates the government of Buhari, stressing that it has been on since 2000.

He said:" I have 100 hectares of cassava plantation but the herders have destroyed about ten hecters and I have complained countless of times. 

"Although, I have never come under physical  attacks in the hands of these herdsmen but some of my kinsmen were not as lucky.  Many of them(allegedly) have lost their lives, the herders do nothing but havoc. Initially,  they were friendly, we live together and even eat together but since 2007 they started wrecking havock. 

"We can't take it again, the government should please wade in quickly before it turned into war. We don't want them around, we are peace loving people. Let them leave us,  our farms and forests alone." 

According to him, the communities in Oja Odan and its environs have lost over 10 people to the herdsmen in the last 15 years.

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