Ex-naval chief, Vice-Admiral Samuel Afolayan, yesterday reported that herdsmen burnt his 20 hectares of orange plantation, 20 hectares of cassava farm and five hectares of palm plantation.
He said the farm is about 500 hectares and put the damages at over N200 million. Afolayan, who addressed reporters in Ibbo-Ile, Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State, said herdsmen had been destroying his plantations in the last 10 years.
His words: “The burning of my farmland has become an annual routine. This is the first time of letting people into what has been happening in the last 10 years. It is the cow-rearers that have been damaging my farms, and right now, there are about three cases in court.
“Every year, my farm is burnt and I thought it was not deliberate when it first started. When I realise that those involved are people of low means, I will release them. But along the line I discovered they were being sponsored by people of means.
“Somebody is presently in detention and he is from Zamfara State; the one in court is from Niger State. So most of the damages I have been incurring are from the North. They carry their cows, mindless of the size of what you have or get, and destroy it with impunity.
“No less than 20 hectares of oranges, five hectares of palm trees and 20 hectares of cassava had been burnt or destroyed this year. I am not an expert or a valuer, but my estimation is that the current loss is over N200 million.”