By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
Small Holders Women Farmers, yesterday staged a protest against the regular destruction of their farmlands and crops by cattle rearers in the State.
The women are from four communities of Nkpoghoro, Ugwuegu, Ohaisu and Itim in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The women took to the streets of Afikpo town chanting songs with sticks in their hands, expressing their grievances on the increasing destruction of their farm produce by Fulani herdsmen.
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These Herdsmen reportedly rear their cattle into the farms of these women without recourse to the owner’s feelings and anticipated farm produce.
The leader of the group, Madam Ogwu Idume lamented over the state of their rice and cassava farms, including the streams which is the source of drinking water in the farm areas.
She said that several efforts have been made previously through discussions and dialogue with the head of the Hausa and Fulani community in Afikpo on how to tackle the menace, yet no headway has been made.
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The protesters went to the Area Command Office of the Nigerian Police, to the palace of Ezeogo Ewa Elechi, Eke Market and Local Government Council headquarters to drive home their demand for justice and equity.
Addressing the people, Chairman of Afikpo North LGA, Barr. Obiageri Oko-enyim, represented by the Development Center coordinator of Afikpo North, Mrs Amuche Otunta Godwin noted that farmers, herders issue was a national development that needed urgent attention at all levels.
The Chairman who calmed the women and explained that violence has never solved any problem appreciated them for conducting themselves peacefully even as she charged them to go home as their complaints would be fully addressed.