FULANI HERDSMEN : Cows Destroy Cassava Farm In Umuahia

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Cows
belonging to  herdsmen invaded and destroyed a cassava farm at Olokoro,
Umuahia South Council of Abia State, valued at hundreds of thousands of Naira

The cassava farm
located on two plots of land at Power Word Estate belongs to Deacon Steve Oko
who was almost in tears while speaking with journalists in Umuahia, yesterday

“The entire farmland
now looks like a football field”, Oko lamented, saying that his decision to
embrace farming early this year as part of strategies to survive the biting
economic hardship in the country and also to enhance his economic base, has
turned to sad story because of the activities of herdsmen. 
According to him, he
had planned to embark on some capital projects with proceeds from the sale of
the crops by next year, but with the destruction of his crops, such hope had
been dashed. 
“Early this year when it became obvious that I could no longer
depend on irregular salary for my ever- increasing financial needs, I decided
to suppress my ego and go into farming. 
“Part of the reasons I also embraced
farming was because the cost of garri was almost unaffordable by the beginning
of this year thus making cassava farming a very lucrative venture.
 “Apart from
my heavy investments in the farm, I was personally involved in the farming
activities. I was drenched by the June/ July rains while working on the farm.
My motivation was the promising bumper harvest of a blossoming farm. 
“But my
hope is now shattered. My calculation was to embark on one major project very
dear to me by 2018 with proceeds from the farm,” he lamented. Cows have turned
the two plots of land into a grazing field”, Oko further lamented. 
He said
besides from cassava, other crops on the farm including coco-yam and pumpkin,
which he said were also destroyed by the cows. Oko explained that he had
already petitioned the Abia State Commissioner of Police Abia, Mr. Anthony
Ogbizi, who doubles as the State Chairman of Farmers/Herdsmen Conflict
Resolution Committee. 
Oko disclosed that other farmlands around the vicinity
were also destroyed by cows and demanded that the herdsmen be made to bear the
full responsibility of their action. “It is hard to reconcile that in a
democracy government and security agencies will watch herdsmen use their flock
which is their private business inflict loss on other farmers. “It is
unacceptable.
 That is why some people agitate for their own country so that
they can defend their people against external aggression. We are truly under
siege by herdsmen who now destroy our crops with impunity. “When we complain
they say with should not take laws into our hand. 
How long shall we continue to
live in bondage under the guise of one Nigeria? Can you imagine an Igbo man
using his flock to destroy crops in Sokoto or Kano? I tell you his kinsmen in
the entire North will be made to suffer for the consequences of his action”,
Oko said.
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