The Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria in Ekiti State, Mr. Adeniran Alagbada, said yesterday that the incessant attacks and abduction of farmers and destruction of farmlands by criminal herders will result in famine and adverse effect on the state and nation’s economy.
Alagbada said the criminal herders were taking refuge in the unutilised expanse of land in the government reserves in the state and taking advantage of the place to launch an attack on farmers and wreak havoc on the farmlands.
The farmers’ boss, who spoke in a paper he presented at the just concluded ‘Statewide Security Conference’ organised by Ekiti Council of Elders, urged the state government “to urgently allocate these areas to farmers to plant crops and ensure food security in the state.”
Alagbada said: “The unutilised vast of lands tagged government reserved lands contributed to the security risk facing Ekiti farmers and their inhabitants.
“These vast of land supposed to be allocated to intending farmers for agricultural purposes now serves as hideouts for hemp planters, dens of killer herders, and subterfuge for all sorts of heinous criminals, such as kidnappers and bandits terrorising the state.
“With all the foregoing, an average Ekiti farmer is exposed to the risk of being murdered, raped or kidnapped by gunmen in the course of providing food security for all and guaranteeing national security.”
Alagbada accused some traditional institutions and political elite of contributing to the menace of insecurity against farmers and residents in the South-West by allocating lands to the herders and buying cows for them to herd.
He said: “The resultant effect is that they (herders) remain permanent on our land, thereby posing threat to the crop farmers and our crops.”