NIGERIA’S ongoing Fulani herdsmen problem has spread to Akwa Ibom State after pastoralists invaded a farm near Uyo belonging to an aide of Governor Udom Emmanuel and destroyed at least 400 plantain stands.
Over recent months, the herdsmen saga has threatened to tear Nigeria apart as incessant clashes with local farmers have heightened tensions across the country. In recent weeks, the main tension has been in southwest Nigeria but it now appears that the problem has spread to the Niger Delta region with this incidence in Akwa Ibom State.
Ime Uwah, Governor Emmanuel’s senior special assistant, said his farm located along Airport Road was invaded by the herdsmen last Wednesday. He added that the herdsmen cut off his manager’s hands last year when they first attacked the farm after he challenged them for destroying crops.
Mr Uwah said: “Sometime in July last year, we had an incident where the herdsmen passed through our farm land. They will normally pass through the road but recently they started entering into our farm and ion that particular day when their cattle entered, they destroyed our cassava and others crops.
“My farm manager approached them and in response they decided to attack him and cut his hand. We followed up this matter with the relevant agencies including the police and the Civil Defence that oversees matters of this nature and we were working with them to see who will pay for the treatment but to no avail.”
“Last Wednesday, they passed through the farm again and destroyed our plantation after they went and set fire on a farm land close to my own. It’s that fire that spread to my own farm and when we tried to stop the fire, they launched an attack and it looks as if their aim was to burn down the entire plantation.
“My people battle put out the fire and when we thought the fire had been extinguished, I woke up that night to see the fire again and noticed it burnt down 400 stands of our plantation. They threatened that nobody gets close to them.”