We won’t take it lightly, says Afenifere as herdsmen set Falae’s farm ablaze
SUSPECTED Fulani herdsmen, yesterday, stormed the farm of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Olu Falae, located at Ilado near Akure, the Ondo State capital, setting it on fire. Olu Falae Falae’s personal assistant, Captain Moshood Raji (retd) confirmed the incident to newsmen. He said the herdsmen destroyed five hectares of oil palm plantation worth millions of Naira. Recall that Falae’s farm had, before now, been invaded by the Fulani herdsmen destroying crops worth millions of Naira as the invaders grazed their cattle. Reacting to the destruction, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere said the Yoruba nation will not take the onslaught lightly. Narrating his ordeal, Falae described the action of the herdsmen as deliberate and wicked. The former Minister of Finance, however, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to call the herdsmen to order, just as the Commissioner of Police in the state, Olugbenga Adeyanju visited the farm to assess the extent of destruction. He said the damage was much and that the fire was still raging at press time. Falae lamented that “The Fulani herdsmen have again burnt my farm. They do that every year. As I speak to you, the Akure Police Area commander, my Personal Assistant and farm manager have visited the place. The state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has called me to confirm the incident and has also promised to visit the farm tomorrow.” Vanguard gathered that the herdsmen numbering about 10 stormed the farmland and set it on fire. It was also gathered that policemen stationed at the farmland following incessant attack on the farm raised the alarm. The herdsmen reportedly arrived the farm at about 5:30pm, yesterday, when workers were away for the weekend. After wreaking the havoc, the herdsmen reportedly fled the scene. Confirming the incident, Falae’s Personal Assistant, Captain Raji (retd) said the oil palm plantation farm was “seriously affected.” According to him, “we are still trying to put out the fire.” Raji told Vanguard that policemen at the farm alerted the former SGF about the fire, adding that they had to mobilise to the farm to put off the fire. He said: “The security operatives stationed at the farm noticed the fire around 5:30pm and rushed to the scene of the incident only to find some Fulani herdsmen running away from the scene. All the maize and cassava have been destroyed while the oil palm plantation was seriously affected.” Raji said the farm which is over 10 hectares was destroyed by the herdsmen for no reason. He said all efforts by the security operatives to track frown the arsonists proved abortive as the inferno prevented the security operatives from crossing to the other side of the farm to effect any arrest. He estimated the farm produce destroyed at the farm to run into millions of Naira, saying apart from the oil palm plantation, the cassava and yam farms were also affected. Afenifere reacts Reacting, Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin said: “It is continuation of the declaration of war by armed Fulani herdsmen, who have been terrorising communities and are now burning farmlands. Now, they have gone to Falae’s farm. These people have made up their mind to go to war or have their way and the authority has refused to call them to order. The latest on Falae’s farm is clearly unacceptable, an aggression by the Fulani and they should be rest assured that the Yoruba nation will not take it likely. “If they think that with all these they are doing, they will have one inch of land for cattle colony in any part of Yoruba land, they should forget it.” Is this fair, Fani-Kayode asks Also condemning the act, former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode said: “Fulani terrorists have set Chief Olu Falae’s entire farm in Ondo State on fire. Baba Falae is one of the most respected and revered leaders of Afenifere and the Yoruba nation. Only two years ago the same Fulani terrorists kidnapped him and almost killed him. I ask Buhari and Miyetti Allah, does he deserve this? Is this fair? How many more people have to die and how many more farms have to be destroyed before you will call these barbarians to order and bring them to book?” Blame Buhari for attack—Adebanjo Also reacting, Yoruba leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo blamed President Buhari for the attack. Adebanjo said: “We all know our problem. Those who are oppressing us are the ones causing this problem. The Federal Government has turned a blind eye to the menace. Until we restructure Nigeria where each state has its own police, the problems will not stop. From all these attacks by herdsmen there is no word of condemnation from President Muhammadu Buhari. “Even when Chief Falae was first abducted, Buhari has not uttered a word of sympathy for someone who was once Secretary to the Federal Government.