Christiana Gokyo, Jos
About 250 hectares of land with rice estimated over N100 million located in Gbajimba of Guma local government area of Benue State has been destroyed and burnt down by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen on New Year Eve.
The farm was said to belong to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state. The suspected armed Fulani herdsmen, on New Year Eve, stormed the rice farm and set it ablaze.
The farm manager, Kena Iordzua, was quoted as claiming that the farm was about 250 hectares of land, with the burnt rice estimated at over N100m.
Conscience Triumph gathered that, the farm manager was said to have informed that the herders came to the farm with a large number of cattle during the day and set it on fire at three different points.
Mr. Iordzua said the inferno could not be put out due to the wild nature of the fire as a result of the harmattan.
According to him, security agents were mobilised to go after the herdsmen, who shot sporadically in the air as the herdsmen retreated towards the Nasarawa State border.
The Principal Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties, Abrahams Kwaghngu, described the action of the herdsmen as barbaric and a threat to food security.
He stated that the law prohibiting open grazing of cattle was still in force in the state, and should be obeyed by all, stressing that the Federal Government needed to act fast to stop impunity by the herders.
Mr. Kwaghngu lamented that after displacing the people from their ancestral homes for over a year, the herdsmen would not allow the little crops that had been cultivated to be harvested.