A group under the aegis of Eastern Farmers Association (EFA) in the old Eastern region of Nigeria have cried out to the Federal Government over their losses following the destruction of their crops and farmland by herdsmen.
In a petition signed by the Coordinator and the Secretary General respectively, Mr Paul Achalla and Mrs Nneka Orji and made available to newsmen in Awka Anambra state, yesterday, EFA said it is demanding financial compensation of N9 billion to offset the cost of damages.
The group wondered why the federal government is only interested in security of the Herdsmen and paying compensation for their cattles without recourse to what they did to the farm lands of people in the Eastern region of Nigeria.
The group expressed worry that as the years planting season would commence soon, it would be frustrating that what that we have laboured for would be in vain as a result of the activities of Herdsmen in our land.
The group said, “Since the advent of the Fulani Herdsmen in the Eastern region, the federal government has been paying lip service to the monumental destruction of our crops and farm land.
“So far we have lost over N9 billion as a result of the activities of the Herdsmen and nobody is talking about it, … even when they promise to pay a token, there is no laid down parameter to actually ascertain the level of damage and it’s cost implicatations”.
While noting that governments in the Eastern region pay compensations for cows killed by villagers, EFA called on the Governor’s Forum in the Eastern Nigerian and the Ohaneze Ndigbo to look into plights of our people who are suffering.
“They should make a strong statement and representation for us so that the federal government would pay us compensation of at least N9 billion which translates to N1 billion per state that made up the old Eastern region of Nigeria.
“The manner in which the Herdsmen are being protected by our governors in the zones speaks volume of how they consider their security at the detriment of we the farmers”, they said.