Farmers in the old Eastern region of Nigeria, under the umbrella of Eastern Farmers Association (EFA) have demanded N9 billion in financial compensation for the destruction of crops and farmlands by grazing cattle.
The group lamented federal government neglect over the losses incurred from the activities of herdsmen and cattle and wants the compensation to offset damages.
Since the advent of the Fulani herdsmen in the Eastern region, the federal government has been paying lip service to the monumental destruction of their crops and farmland, EFA said in a petition seen by journalists.
EFA coordinator Paul Achalla and secretary-general Nneka Orji signed the petition.
The group accused the federal government of being only interested in securing herdsmen and paying compensation for their cattle without thought to what they did to farmlands.
“Our state governments pay compensations for cows killed by villagers,” they said.
“So far we have lost over N9 billion as a result of the activities of the Herdsmen and nobody is talking about it and even when they promise to pay a token there is no laid down parameter to actually ascertain the level of damage and its cost implications.
“We urge the Governor’s Forum in the Eastern Nigerian as well as the Ohaneze Ndigbo to look into our plight and 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 body further contended that the manner in which the herdsmen are being protected by governors in the zones speaks volumes of how they consider their security at the detriment of farmers.
“Very soon, the year’s planting season will commence and it will be frustrating if after all that we have laboured for would be in vain as a result of the activities of herdsmen in our land,” the group lamented. (Daily Trust)