By Bright Bassey
Tension gripped locals in Ekpetiama Kingdom, Yenagoa Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, as farmers and indigenes protest illegal grazing and destruction of farmlands by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
The affected communities are demanding the government intervene on the issue of herdsmen who graze in the area, ravage their crops, destroying their farmlands in the process.
The Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, Bubraye Dakolo, confirmed the development. He has appealed government and security agencies, calling for urgent measures to address the situation before it degenerates.
“What is happening now is a recipe for disaster.
It is very difficult to watch your crops which are doing well being eaten up by cows.
Imagine your one hectare of land you have managed to till at a great cost in terms of money, sweat and energy is now being devoured by some animals”.
So, you go and plant water yams, cassava and plantain, by the time you realize it, they have been devoured. It could spark some clash someday between farmers and herdsmen”, the Chief lamented.
Alagoa Morris, Head, Office of Enviromental Rights, Yenagoa has said the timely intervention of relevant authorities would put the situation under control.
‘This might escalate into violence if nothing is done and we don’t want violence. We think the government should come in to ensure that anything that would lead to bloodshed is averted. It should be live and let live’, he stated.