EKITI, Nigeria – Rev Tunde Afe of the House of Faith Christian Church Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State, has raised an alarm over the invasion and destruction of farms by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the state.
Afe who warned government officials against playing politics with the security situation, maintained that Fulani herders invaded his private farms too.
There had been reports of the destruction of a multi-million naira maize farm belonging to members of the Maize Grower Processing Marketer Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN) in Aduloju farmstead located along Ado-Ijan road in the state capital by herdsmen.
But the Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Dr Olabode Olatoyi was quoted as saying on Wednesday that there was no farm destroyed by herdsmen in the state.
However, in a swift reaction, the cleric in a statement on Thursday faulted the claims by the Commissioner, noting that his cassava farm was destroyed by herdsmen last week in Itapaji, Ikole local government area of the state.
Afe, a former governorship candidate in the state cautioned leaders who play politics with the security situation in the state, adding that the lives and property of residents should be the priority of government at all levels.
He said “It is wrong for some people to say “No single farm has been destroyed in Ekiti by Fulani herdsmen” Please don’t play politics with this ISSUE. These herdsmen destroy farms in Ekiti every day. For example, a section of my cassava farm at Itapaji Ekiti was eaten up by cows last week.
“Farmers have stopped reporting to police because nothing came out of all the reports made so far. These Fulani herdsmen are in Ekiti doing a lot of havoc. This is the third time they are destroying my farm.
“Stop playing politics with this matter.”
When contacted, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Olatoyi said the government would make its position known to the public on the incident on Friday.
“We will make our position known on the incident tomorrow after our security meeting. I have been at the farm,” he said.