No harvest, my cassava farms eaten by rapacious cows

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Mr Mohammed Abdulkareem, an administrative officer with Independent Communications Network Limited (publishers of TheNEWS and PMNEWS) entered the Acme Road, Ikeja office of the company on Wednesday, looking woebegone.

“What happened to you? Did you see a ghost?” Yomi Osoba, the Advert Manager, asked humorously, not knowing what had hit the Kogi-state born Mohammed whose pastime is farming.

“Fulani herdsmen invaded my farm for the second time,” Mohammed narrated, creases forming rapidly on his forehead, “their cows ate up my cassava. Worse still, the herders uprooted the tubers and cut them into pieces for their animals”

Mohammed’s farm is not just a backyard enterprise; one of them is on an acre, full of cassava, located in Isholekun village in Owode local government area of Ogun State. That one was invaded last October and not a single cassava plant was left standing by the herd. An acre of land comprises six plots, each measuring 60 by 120. Mohammed was not bothered much because he did not put all his eggs in one basket, so he thought as he shrugged in confidence then. He still had another full acre elsewhere, a cushion against hunger and these hard times. But that one also was also invaded, a development that threw Mohammed into deep melancholy.

It was on the second farmland that a Fulani herdsman almost attacked his wife, Zainab, about two weeks ago. As narrated by Mohammed: “Cows were again eating up my plants when my wife appeared on the scene. She challenged one of the herders who was moving menacingly closer to her. She had to run away!”

The herdsmen came back yesterday, Tuesday4 February and put the final nail on the coffin of Mohammed’s farm. In other words, they finished up everything, the labour of over one year and half and the hope of expected cash went up in a puff! “Just as they did on my first farm, the Fulani people wickedly cut them into pieces for their cows.”

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