A herd of cattle invaded acres of maize plantation belonging to members of the Maize Growers Processing Marketer Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN), Ekiti, overnight on Tuesday.
This was coming less than 48 hours after Ekiti Gov Kayode Fayemi, during a peace meeting in Ondo, assured the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeder Association of Nigeria the southwest is their home, and they are not going anywhere.
The MAGPAMAN farm, covering about 235 hectares of land, is inside the state forest reserve in Aduloju farmstead located along Ado-Ijan Road in the Ado Local Government Area
In a statement on Tuesday, MAGPAMAN secretary Tope Emmanuel said the herders have been terrorising farmers in the area for the past one week, leading to the destruction of the farm.
Emmanuel urged the state government to come to their rescue.
“Last year, we approached the Central Bank of Nigeria as a group to obtain a loan worth N6.6 million for the maize farm and we planted the maize, covering 235 hectares of farmland.
“But unfortunately, when we were preparing for cultivation, the herdsmen came and destroyed everything in the farm with nothing for us again,” he said.
“Those herders have always been going there during the night with dangerous weapons in the last few days and nobody can challenge them because they are armed. We can’t go to the farm now.”
Part of the resolutions the peace meeting that Fayemi chaired, and was attended by Oyo, Ondo, Osun and two northern governors, arrived at was the ban of night and any form of open browsing across the region.
The meeting itself became necessary as tension rose after Ondo Gov Rotimi Akeredolu ordered the herdsmen out of the state’s forest, and a local agitator in Oyo gave a similar order to Fulani herdsmen at Igangan.