Farmers in Ekiti State have accused monarchs and political elites in the state of aiding criminal herdsmen on the incessant attacks, abduction of farmers and the destruction of their farmlands and crops.
The Chairman of the state chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (ALAN), Adeniran Alagbada, while presenting a paper at the “Statewide Security Conference” organised by Ekiti Council of Elders on Monday, tasked the government “to urgently allocate areas to farmers to plant crops and ensure food security in the state.”
Alagbada added that if the incessant attacks by the herdsmen are not curtailed, it will result in famine and adverse effect on the state and nation’s economy.
While accusing traditional institutions and political elites in the state, 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 attack on farmers and wreak havoc on their farmlands.
The farmer’s leader also said farmlands meant for agricultural purposes “now serves as hideouts for hemps planters, dens of killer herders, and subterfuge for all sorts of heinous criminals, such as kidnappers and bandits terrorising the state.”
He also said, “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 said.
“Some of our traditional institutions and political elites are 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.
“The resultant effect is that they (herders) remain permanent on our land, thereby posing threat to the crop farmers and our crops.”