Farmers in the Benue-South Senatorial zone of Benue State have cried out over what they described as the increasing unbecoming activities of herdsmen on their farmlands. This situation makes it difficult for them to harvest their farm produce.
A farmer and a member of the vigilante in Edumoga Idoma, who stays in the Okpokwu Local Government Area of the state explained that the armed herders deliberately grazed their cattle on farmlands and eat the cattle eat up everything.
The farmer, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being attacked, added that in recent times, the herders allow their cows graze on the farm, but farmers cannot talk for fear of being killed.
According to him, there is much distance between the farming area and the police station where they can lodge any report, and the cattle rearers have allegedly compromised some of the security agencies.
“Even if you succeeded in getting the police to arrest them, the money spent and other expenditure made to convey the police to and from the station would be near the compensation to be paid, if not more.
“If you meet the herdsmen on the farmland, you will be afraid to talk to them because they could kill you, and nothing would happen,” he lamented.
The farmer sighted instances of killings of one farmer, Mr Oleje Obande, in a village known as Otobi and the massacre which took place in Omusu village, among others, in Edumoga Ehaje.
He, therefore, appealed to the Benue State Governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, and other relevant authorities to intervene and liberate them from hunger, starvation and slavery in their ancestral homes.
Other women and men from Okpiliho, Ipoya Ogege and their environs decried the same situation, calling on the government to assist them and strengthen security in their communities.
“These things have been happening, but we have nobody to complain to. Who will assist us aside from the police who are not empowered,” one of the women said.
SaharaReporters, New York