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Ekiti constitutes task force to curb farmers,herdsmen clashes

The Ekiti Government has set up a 50-man task force on the alleged destruction of farms across the state by persons suspected to be herdsmen.

The Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Ganiyu Owolabi, made this known on Tuesday at a meeting with stakeholders and victims of the clashes.

Owolabi said that the government evolved the measure in order to find a permanent solution to the occurrence of such attacks.

According to him, the cattle reportedly destroyed between six and seven hectares of farm crops on daily basis across the state.

He said the matter was of serious concern as it threatened government’s huge investment in agriculture.

He expressed sympathy with the victims whose crops were destroyed, especially Alhaii Giringi Sulaiman.

Owolabi noted that about 100,000 hectares of maize and yams farms, valued at about N80 million belonging to Sulaiman along Ijan-Ekiti Road was attacked and destroyed by suspected herdsmen.

In his speech, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Jide Arowosafe, noted that many farms, including those of  the ‘Youth in Agriculture Programme’ were reportedly destroyed in recent times.

He advised the herdsmen to take advantage of the grazing facility already created at Irele-Ekiti.

Arowosafe said that the government would replicate the facility in all local government areas as a way of curbing herdsmen’s excesses and the rampant destruction of farmlands.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Obas, Oba Adamo Babalola and the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Rufus Aladesanmi, were at the occasion.

They both urged various communities in the state to be alert and report any strange movement of herdsmen to the police and avoid any physical combat or attack.

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