Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom’s rice farm has been burnt allegedly by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Gbajimba, Guma Local Government Area of the state.
Manager of the farm, Kena Iordzua, while conducting newsmen round the farm on New Year’s Day, disclosed that the herdsmen invaded the facility with a large number of cattle during the day and set it on fire at three different points.
He explained that the fire in no time engulfed the entire farm assisted by the harmattan wind, adding that the inferno could not be put out despite concerted efforts by those who were working on the farm.
Kena said it took the concerted effort of security agents to chase the herders away; the herdsmen kept shooting sporadically as they retreated towards the Nasarawa State border.
The farm manager who estimated the burnt portion of the rice farm to be 250 hectares, put the loss at N100 million.
In a chat with newsmen, Principal Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties, Abrahams Kwaghngu described the act as barbaric and a threat to food security.
He stated that a law prohibiting open grazing of cattle was still in force in the state.
He stressed the need for the law to be obeyed by all, stressing that the Federal government needed to act fast to stop the impunity of the herders.
Kwaghngu lamented that after displacing the people from their ancestral homes for over a year, the herdsmen would not allow the little that had been cultivated to be harvested.