From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
As a proactive measure to prevent farmers/herders clashes during this year’s farming season, the Executive Chairman of Yagba West Local Government Area, Pius Kolawole has warned against destruction of farmlands and crops, assuring that anybody found wanting would be made to face the full wrath of the law no matter how highly placed.
Kolawole gave the warning at a meeting with community leaders, representatives of farmers and Miyetti Allah Cattle breeders, security agents and other relevant bodies over the weekend, with a view to forestalling any eventualities.
The chairman said the meeting became imperative as this year’s farming season is set to commence and giving the experience of the past it is only important that his government is proactive.
He warned herders against destruction of farmlands by cows and appealed to farmers to always report cases of invasion of their farmlands to the security agents, community leaders to avoid taking laws into their hands.
“Giving the ugly experience of the past, we are compelled to hold this interactive session, to preach to ourselves, to preach peace and to warn everybody against the danger of deliberate destruction of peoples businesses and means of livelihoods.
“Let it be known to all of us that we are peace loving people, we have graciously accommodated herdsmen in our land, we are protecting you and your property, but we shall not be happy when you result to destroying our farmlands, we shall frown against any criminal activities or any acts capable of distorting the already existing peace, law and order in the entire Yagba West local government area.” Pius said.
The Executive Chairman who also appealed to the leadership of Miyetti Allah to ensure that they preach peace to their members urged the herdsmen to avoid leaving their cattle’s with minors who are not capable of effectively controlling the cows thereby resulting in invasion of peoples farmlands.
According to him, a situation where herds of cattle’s are left in the control of children, it is going to be difficult to prevent them from encroaching farmlands thereby creating crisis.
He therefore reminded the herdsmen that the farm is as important to farmers being the farmers only means of livelihood the same way cows are important to Fulani herders.
Hon. Pius said Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the chief security officer of the state is doing everything possible to ensure security of lives and property of all citizens and residents of Kogi state, and has consistently warned against any acts that could jeopardise his peace efforts.
The chairman used the occasion to commend the security agents for doing great, urged them not to relent as farming Season is approaching.