Farmers in Arodoye community, Akure South local government area of Ondo state, were in tears on Thursday following the alleged destruction of their several acres of land by suspected fulani herdsmen.
Besides, sources said a woman,whose identity was yet to be ascertained was killed on her farm during the invasion by the herdsmen.
The farmers who lamented the incessant invasion of their farms by herdsmen said millions of Naira have been lost due to massive destruction of crops by animals.
The farmers listed some of the farm produce destroyed by the herdsmen as Cassava, Cocoyams, Yams, Vegetables while Cocoa plantation was set on fire.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Justice Micheal Omoyemi, traced the genesis of the invasion to December 2016 when the herdsmen harvested most of the farm produce during the Christmas /New Year break.
He said “the herdsmen also returned last December destroying over 5,000 heaps of cassava in my farm. They took the advantage of the break and brought their cattle and uprooted the cassava to feed their cows.
“We have reported the herdsmen to the security agents in the past and also to the Deji of Akureland, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo who promised to intervene.
“The herdsmen are determined to send the farmers out of the farm in the South West unless steps are taken by the concerned authorities, hence it will degenerate to ethnic clashes in the south west. What they have destroyed in a twinkle of an eye is worth millions of Naira”
One of the farmers, Victory Oweh, said he lost over 10 acres to the herdsmen and their cows, saying, the herdsmen also set his farm ablaze after destroying the crops.
He said “we are just respecting the law of the land and trying not to take law into our hands. We have been reporting them to the security agents with no positive results.”
Oweh who said he voluntarily resigned from office two years ago to embrace farming,however regretted that the incessant invasion of his farm has defeated his mission.
According to him, “I cannot imagine working all through the year and some herdsmen and their cattle will invade our farms and wasted all our labour within one day.
“Ondo state government should follow the steps taken by the Ekiti state government by enacting laws to curb the activities of the herds men in the state. We are calling on the state government and security agents in the state before taking laws into our hands.”
He explained that one of the farmers, Patience Salami, was killed on her farm by the herdsmen some days ago, while no arrest was made by law enforcement agencies.
Justice Owoyemi however said the farmers had petitioned the governor Olurotimi Akeredolu, Security agencies and the Ministry of Agriculture to intimate them on the havoc wreck on farmlands in the area.