Following the incessant invasion of herdsmen in Delta State, no fewer than 300 farmlands valued at N100 millions in Obetim-Uno community, Afor in Ndokwa East Local Council of the state have been destroyed.
Speaking to officials of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the state which was disclosed to newsmen, a community leader Sunday Neme said: “I am here on behalf of my community whose farm and farmlands have been destroyed by herdsmen and their cows. This issue has been on for more than a year, as they destroyed crops worth over N100 million.
“As if that was not enough, the invaders were ready to kill anyone that dared to question them. As a result, most of the farmers, mainly women, have abandoned their investments in farms and farmlands, just to remain alive, while hunger and starvation stare them in the faces, as they have no other means of livelihood.”
He also said the community, being an agrarian, has nothing else to live on but farm produce, but they are currently helpless.
“Our fear is that these herders are not interested in any form of dialogue. As a result the community has decided to engage relevant government authorities, which culminated in the arrest of a herder, Abdul Mohammed and Ali Abdul.
“All efforts to engage them in a peaceful resolution to enable them to leave our community in peace have failed.
“Obetim is a peaceful community and we need a peaceful resolution, which prompted our visit to the State Commandant of NSCDC, S.A. Jimoh, on July 10 to resolve the issues.
“Our demand is that the herdsmen should leave our community and pay compensation to those whose farms were destroyed by their cows. We also demand the immediate removal of their cows from our land as the community did not give them any part of our land for grazing,’’ he added.
In the same vein, the Community Secretary of Obetim-Uno, Chief Hope Osanebi, said: “On that fateful day, the herdsmen destroyed a lot of lands and crops in our community; they threatened to kill me when I saw them in the farm.
“I raised the alarm which attracted some of the villagers but they destroyed about 200 farmlands estimated at N100 million.’’