The Middle Belt Forum,MBF, has raised alarm over the massive destruction of over 45 farmlands by suspected Fulani herdsmen across some communities in Plateau State.
The MBF, which raised the concerns in a statement by Dr. Isuwa Sogo, its National Publicity Secretary, Tuesday in Abuja , lamented that cutting down of food crops with cutlasses and matchetes was deliberate efforts by dastardly outlaws to throw the nation into a dungeon of hunger and food insecurity,
The the forum, therefore called for urgent need for constant surveillance and protection of farmlands to guide against plots by undesirable elements to plunge the nation, especially plateau state into famine.
The MBF, which identified the destroyed 45 farmlands as belonging to 25 families in Zowrru village of Ta’agbe in Miango district of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, called on Governor Simon Lalong to apprehend perpetrators of the heinous act with a view to serving them with an appropriate punishment.
According to the forum, “The attention of the Middle Belt Forum, MBF, has been drawn to the massive destruction of no fewer than 45 farmlands by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
“The farmlands, which belonged to 25 families, were destroyed on July 9, 2021 in Zowrru village of Ta’agbe in Miango district of Bassa Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State.
“The cutting down of food crops with cutlasses and machetes in 45 Miango farmlands is coming on the trail of similar destruction of farms in some settlements in Riyom Local Government Area of the same state.
” While the MBF is alarmed by this level of deliberate act of wickedness perpetrated against poor farmers, we are quick to call on relevant arms of government and security agencies to save farmers from further destruction of their farmlands in order to avoid looming hunger.
“This act of destroying food crops in Bassa and Riyom poses great threats to farmers who face the risk of producing less foodstuffs for their survival. If the inevitable prospects of food scarcity is to be tackled, no stone should be left unturned to end this act of wickedness by relevant agencies and the Plateau State Government.
“This cold hearted destruction of crops by these marauding outlaws amidst the raging security challenges facing Nigerians, especially communities in the Middle Belt Region, does not only foreshadow food insecurity for the nation, but is capable of engendering communal conflicts.
“Against the backdrop of fears over imminent low production of food crops and attendant rising cost of foodstuff, the resort by herders to destroy farmlands in order to graze their animals must be stamped out to pave way for optimal agricultural activities.
“Therefore, the need to arrest further destruction of farmlands must be seen as a central necessity so as to protect farmlands against destruction.
“In the light of deliberate efforts by dastardly outlaws to throw the nation into a dungeon of hunger and food insecurity, there is need for constant surveillance and protection of farmlands to guide against plots by undesirable elements to plot against efforts by farmers to attain a peak level of agricultural production.
“We call on His Excellency, Governor Simon Lalong, and chairmen of affected LGAs to thoroughly investigate the matter and apprehend perpetrators of this heinous act with a view to serving them with an appropriate punishment.
“We also call on the Plateau State Government to assist farmers with some form of assistance to enable them to attain increased agricultural productivity.
“The Forum calls on Nigerian farmers not to be discouraged in the face of glaring attempts to frustrate them as the path to national development cannot be attained by a country that cannot feed its citizens.
“We are aware that ahead of the 2021 harvest season, various agencies of government have predicted food scarcity in the coming year due to either flooding or drought, among other factors.
“Current efforts at destroying farmlands are dangerous for a country suffering from rising inflationary trends caused by non-productive capacity in many sectors of the national economy.
“The Forum calls on our farming communities and other Nigerians facing similar attacks on their farmlands to collaborate with various agencies of government, including state governments, to put an end to these acts of wicked and mindless destruction of food crops in order to end Nigeria’s food insecurity and other attendant dangers staring us in the face.’