Three Fulani herdsmen in the early hours of yesterday (today) set commercial rice farms worth about N20 million ablaze in Ugbene community, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The rice fields belonging to farmers in Umualor and Umuagunwoke villages occupy about 75 hectares of land.The residents decried that the dastardly act was as a result of their lingering feud which started last year when the herdsmen allegedly trespassed into their farms; an incidence, they disclosed resulted into open confrontation of each other with firearms.
Conducting newsmen around the smouldering scene, the farmers, some of who had tears cascading down their cheeks lamented that they took loans to embark on the agribusiness with the hope of paying back after sales.
A community leader, Mr Emmanuel Ifesinachi Okoye, lamented that “a message came to us this morning that our farm known as Area 1 was set ablaze by the Fulani herdsmen. We rushed to the scene and beheld our massive rice farmon fire. Most of us took loans to embark on the farming and that’s why there is sadness and wailing all over the community. We saw them running into the distance with their cows, and as such, we couldn’t chase after them.”
Contacted, the zonal Chairman (South East), Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Gidado Siddiki said “it is not true. Fulani herdsmen cannot do something like that. It’s those people that burnt their rice farm. We have a committee that looks into such matter in Anambra. They should go and report the matter there.”
Also, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ali Alphonsus Okechukwu, DSP, said the matter has not been tabled to him but said he’ll contact Achalla Police Division for details and necessarily actions.
The rice farm allegedly burnt by Fulani herdsmen in Ugbene community, Awka North.