A farmer, Mr Adedayo Adefarakan, the Chief Executive Officer, EcoZone Integrated Services Ltd., has appealed to police to intensify efforts to stem farmers-herders clashes in the country.
Adefarakan made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
He expressed concern that the farmer-herder conflict which, had become Nigeria’s gravest security challenge was exacting heavy burden not only on security agencies but on businesses.
While relating his experience, Adefaranke urged the Nigerian Police and traditional rulers within Gwagwalada to bring peaceful and lasting settlement to a dispute between herders and his farm located in the Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja.
He said the issue with the herders started on April 1, when some herders entered his farm and accusing him of using poisoned oranges to kill one of their cows.
Adefarakan, while denying the allegation said that EcoZone did not deal with oranges and did not poison any cow, saying, ”we maintain clean environment with garbage bins”.
“Majority of my workers are youths from the neighbourhood but unfortunately 12 of them were attacked by the herders with machetes leading to various degrees of injuries.
“The workers are scared of coming to work causing the business to be at its lowest ebb.
“They are scared and most of them are insisting on staying away from work if security is not guaranteed as their lives are under threat.
“I am seeking the help of stakeholders to restore peace so that we can live in peace as we have been since 2015,” Adefarakan said.
He further narrated that there had never been any dispute over the property or with his neighbours since 2015 when the property was acquired.
“We moved in here in 2015 when we acquired this property with certificate of occupancy and we have not had any issue with our host community.
“So we are surprised that this is happening now. We want all relevant stakeholders to come in and settle the matter amicably so that we can return to business,” he added.
Adefarakan, however, expressed gratitude to the Police and other security agencies for their interventions so far.
“My ultimate wish is for me, my staff and our neighbours to live in peace and harmony as that is the only atmosphere under which business can thrive,’’ he said. (NAN)