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Imo farmers lament herdsmen invasion, destruction of crops

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Farmers and indigenes of Obossa-Assa Community in Ohaji/Egbema Council Area of Imo State, yesterday, lamented herdsmen invasion of their farmlands and destruction of their crops by cattle.

They sent a Save Our Souls (SOS) message to the state government, security personnel and opinion leaders to intervene and save them from the assault .

Chairman, Community Security Committee of the area, Monday Ahakpo, who spoke with The Guardian, lamented the level of destruction of the crops in their farmlands.

He said despite their reports to security personnel, their monarch, Eze Emma Assor, some government officials, the herders, who carry dangerous weapons, again, invaded their farmlands, causing havoc to their crops.

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Ahakpo listed the areas affected to include Aliocha and Umuepe-Obosa Assa kindreds, alerting that there was the likelihood that the communities would experience famine since the area constituted the food basket of the state.

“We are sending an SOS message to the relevant authorities to come to our aid. The herdsmen came in through the Adapalm side with their cattle, destroying our crops in our farmlands in Aliocha and Umuepe in Obossa-Assa community in Ohaji /Egbema Council Area of Imo State. We cannot fight them, because they are carrying dangerous weapons.

“We have reported the matter begging them to leave our farmlands. You know the area is the food basket of the state. We have reported to our traditional ruler, Eze Emma Assor, still they are destroying our crops. If you see the level of destruction, it is much. We have pleaded with them to stop destroying our crops, but still they are not listening.

“Governor Hope Uzodimma and all security personnel should come to our rescue. They are well armed and they have caused a lot of damage. There will likely be scarcity of food in the state and environs next year as a result of the invasion,” he said.

Assor and a farmer in the affected farmlands, Clifford Oriaku, condemned the action, urging intervention of the relevant authorities to stop the herders.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Imo State Command, Orlando Ikeokwu, said he was in a meeting with the Commissioner of Police (CP), Isaac Akinmoyede, promising to return the call, but did not do so as at press time.

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