January 27, 2023

Central Plateau farmers count loses as herdsmen destroy crops again

Farmers in Langai District of Mangu local Government Area of Plateau State have called authorities to end persistent destruction of their crops by Fulani herdsmen.

Some farmers told our reporter that they were attacked by the herders when they bumped on them while grazing on their farms.

A clergyman in the area, Catechist, Markus Emmanuel Gorum of Saint Peter’s Catholic Parish Gindiri, said he was beaten to near coma by the herders on 27/8/2020 when he visited his farm and found them destroying his crop.

He said when he asked the herder why he allowed his cattle to destroy the farm, another herder came from behind and started beating him with his herding stick.

“My saving grace was when I started shouting my son’s name and they ran away thinking I was in the farm in company of others. They run leaving me with severe injuries on my head and a fractured hand”, he said.

Another farmer,  a father of Seven, Mayor Chris Mba whom herders grazed on and destroyed his Groundnut farm, said farmland destructions had persisted for years but this year’s case is ‘huge’.

“I’m very disappointed, I bought fertilizer at a very expensive price and I paid another huge amount for the labourers who worked on the farm and now my groundnut farm has been completely destroyed. I don’t have anything left”, he lamented.

Also, Mr. James Kasuwa a Civil Servant who also embraced farming to augment his earning, noted that the issue of herders grazing on their crops dates back to 2015 but yearly it is becoming increasingly unbearable.

Our reporter who visited some of the farms to see the level of destruction alongside some of the affected farmers and the Fulanis, came across some herders roasting maize they have harvested belonging to the farmers but ran away when they cited the team approaching them.

Speaking with the Miyetti Allah Chairman of Langai district, Malam Yakubu Jibril, admitted that they have received complaints from farmers over activities of their people which last week they visited some of the scenes and apologized to the farmers with an assurance to address the issue squarely.

Though malam Yakubu did not deny any of the allegation, but blamed lack of cattle routes as one of the major causes of the destruction.

He said he believe the setting up of a committee will bring about the needed solution to all the issues, saying already they have warned their people against sending underage children to rear cattle but should attached a matured person with them to learn.

Also speaking, the representative of the district head of Langai who is the title holder of “Wakilin Sarki” Alhaji Umaru Muhammadu said they have held several meetings with the warring groups but has not yielded the needed result hence, the need to constitute a committee comprising of representatives from the farmers, Fulanis, Vigilante and the traditional council.