By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos
There has been fresh destruction of farm crops in a large expanse of cultivated farmlands at Kpachudu community, Jebbu Miango in Irigwe chiefdom, Bassa local government area of Plateau State.
In the last one month, maize, soya beans, potatoes, peppers and other crops cultivated on various hectares of farmlands have been destroyed in many communities in Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Jos South, and Bassa local government areas of the State, causing farmers losses running into millions of Naira.
The latest incident was discovered in the early hours of today when the farmers went to tend the crops and this has caused fresh tears in the area ravaged by incessant attacks, ambushes, killings, and taking over of ancestral homes by strange faces survivors say are Fulani.
The State Governor, Simon Lalong has described the incident as “callous, criminal, inhuman and wicked,” saying “the reported willful destruction of farm crops in some communities in the State by yet to be apprehended criminals is a premeditated act that must be addressed.”
Lalong in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham added that “it is unimaginable that people will go into a farm and mow down flourishing crops that are nearing maturity and expected to be harvested in the coming weeks and months for whatever reason.”
His words, “The recent case of such intentional decimation of farm crops in Kpachudu, Jebbu Miango in Bassa Local Government area is totally condemnable and unacceptable. From the reports, this is a carefully planned and executed act that is not only meant to provoke crisis, suspicion, and instability in the area, but also render the victims poor and hungry. What these criminals fail to understand is that such actions will eventually leave the entire State and the country with food shortages where even the perpetrators will not escape.”
The Governor, therefore, directs the security agencies to “immediately swing into action by conducting a thorough investigation into this terrorist activity with a view to arresting those behind it and prosecuting them.”
He assured, “The Government working with the security agencies will do everything within its power to unravel those behind this barbaric act and deal with them accordingly,” and mandated the Plateau Peace Building Agency to “visit the affected areas and ascertain the level of damage, as well as foster dialogue within the communities with a view to ensuring that such incidents are avoided.”
The Governor also asked community associations, traditional rulers, youth groups, and vigilante platforms all over the State to “be proactive by providing the security agencies with the intelligence to pre-empt and foil such plans as well as arresting the perpetrators who clearly are on a mission to return Plateau to the era of pain and agony.”
The Governor sympathized with the affected farmers and promises that “the Government will do its best to ensure that they get justice.”