By Anayo Okoli
The traditional ruler of Ugbene Ajima in Uzo-Uwani council area of Enugu State, Igwe Romanus Eze, has told Vanguard that the problem of herders damaging farm crops in the area is like a mosquito on a man’s scrotum.
The monarch said he had been receiving a series of complaints from farmers over the destruction of their crops by herdsmen.
He added that the council chairman, Chukwudi Nnadozie, and he have been obeying the peace initiative of the state government to settle all farmers/herders issues amicably.
According to the monarch, “the herdsmen problem is like a sucking mosquito on a man’s scrotum. If you hit it hard, you will severe the genitals. If you leave it there, it would suck your blood and invariably give you malaria.
“We have been advised by the governor to manage them peacefully. We normally engage the herdsmen in a peace talk and where they are culpable, we mandate them to pay for damages on people’s farms.
“Our forest guards and vigilante groups have been playing their roles to curtail these clashes.”
Meanwhile, some farmers equally alleged that certain persons collect money from the herders to allow them access into the community, an action that emboldens the herdsmen.
A farmer in the community, Edward Ugwu, told Vanguard that he lost over N500,000 when herdsmen harvested his cassava to feed their cattle.
According to Ugwu, farmers are afraid to go to their farms in the community for fear of herders’ attack, noting that famine looms in the community.
Still on herders in Enugu State, another farmer, Regina Iggah, said she has not recovered from the shock since she was attacked on her farm.
Iggah said her crops worth over N800,000 were destroyed by herdsmen who allegedly invaded her farm with their cattle, even as she appealed to the state and local governments to come to her rescue.