Oyo state government has assured crop and livestock farmers in the state of the government readiness to protect the lives and properties of its citizens and also arrest criminal elements who pose a threat to the peace of Oyo residents
This assurance was made by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development while addressing farmers from Ijaiye Farm Settlement after engaging in a peaceful demonstration at the state secretariat complex in Ibadan the state capital.
The farmers who complained about the destruction of their farms by some criminal cattle herders which have led to the loss of lives and investments running into millions in the farms within the Ijaye Farm Settlement had stormed the Governor’s office to protest the security situation.
The Commissioner while speaking at the ministry’s conference room reiterated that the Engr. Seyi Makinde-led administration is a citizenry-based government which holds farmers in high esteem, urging farmers to bear in mind that economic expansion through agriculture and its value chain is one of the four basal service agenda of the administration.
Hon Ojekunle said the government understood the plights of the farmers and would burn the candles at both ends to ensure that farmers enjoy their harvests and secure their lives as well.
Earlier, the Chairman, Ijaye Farm Settlement Farmers’ Association, Dr. Tunde Tairu while making sense of their complaints, said that herdsmen and their cattle have invaded their farmland and have turned farmers into slaves on government land for which they paid rent yearly.
Tairu said further that the herdsmen could not be challenged because they were armed with sophisticated weapons and farmers were being threatened with guns anytime they challenge the herders.
“In fact two days ago, one of our farmers that challenged them on his own farm got his left arm amputated right in our presence,” Tairu added
Tairu made it known that though the Crop farmer and herder clashes have been persistent and age long in the area, the recent surge in the crimes perpetrated by these marauding cattle herders has now become a clog in the wheel of development and peace in Ijaiye as their members are now been kidnapped for ransom, killed and or maimed hile their wives and young daughters are raped.
The farmers thereby requested for the massive presence of security personnel on their farmland and also appealed to the government to create an office for Amotekun officials in the community, with the belief that it would scare criminals among the herders away.
Members of Ijaye Farm Settlement Farmers Association thereafter expressed gratitude to the State government for the privilege given them to express their grievances without prejudice, while also commending the Commissioner for the native intelligence he employed in handling the situation, noting that no government has ever given them such listening ears and opportunity for dialogue.
The Association pleaded that the promised action by the government should be fulfilled in earnest.