The people of Orin-Ekiti, Ido/Osi local government area of Ekiti state have taken to the streets to protest the alleged annexation of their farmland by Fulani herdsmen. According to the protesters, the herdmen hoisted their flag and warned them to keep off the farm land, an area covering about 8km.
The Onikare of Orin-Ekiti, Chief Bamidele Fasuyi said to journalists:
“What they wanted is to invade our land and chase us away. They even killed one of our able bodied men this year. They are imposing some curfew in this town, because our youths can’t go to farm freely and government has not been doing something. Several hectares of land had been destroyed. They used to operate at night with AK 47 rifle.
“Over 70 farmers were affected in our record. Crops worth N50 million have been ravaged . They ate up their products like Coco yam, yam, cassava and others and made them to incur debts.
“We appeal to government to use the 2500 acres of land for farming. The state and federal government as well as private bodies should come to our aid. There were facilities like electricity, buildings and equipment that can aid farming if they want to invest “.
Another source, Mr Omotoso Mathew, who is a youth leader also lamented:
“They wrote keep off with a picture of a cattle rearer on the flag. This is a serious threat. The police , NSCDC and soldiers removed the flag last year but they had hoisted another one.
“We used to do night guard to ward off attack,because the police had found it difficult to arrest them. Our graduates who have no jobs were going into farming but they are suffering losses because of destruction by cows.
“They must vacate the place. Governor Kayode Fayemi must relocate them. From our findings, they used to enter into this place from neighbouring towns like Isan, Ayede and Ido and we are suspecting conspiracy .There may be famine in the land with the way things are going .
“We are not compromising our stand on this relocation. Chief Obafemi Awolowo-led government in the old Western region acquired the land in 1958 for arable farming and not for cattle ranching”. He said.