Twenty hectares of cassava and rice plantations owned by Lehin Investment Farms, have allegedly been burnt by a herdsman previously employed as a security guard by the company.
The consultant of the company, Mr. Daramola Josiah, said the suspect, Hammed Gaa-Alakuko, was employed alongside two other herdsmen to help prevent the destruction of their farm by marauding herdsmen.
Gaa-Alakuko, who was employed in March 2017 and disengaged nine months later, had returned to the business of tending to cattle.
Since Gaa-Alakuko allegedly set the farm ablaze, he has been on the run, while the police are on his trail.
Josiah said since the arson, Gaa Alakuko had been sending emissaries to the company’s management to beg for forgiveness.
Conducting journalists round the affected farm at Idofian/Igberiin in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Josiah estimated the destruction to be about N20m.
According to him, the destruction has negatively affected the efforts of the company to contribute positively towards increasing food production in Kwara State.
He called on the Federal Government and the Kwara State to come to the aid of the company to cushion the effect of the loss.
Josiah said, “We started this plantation last year and planted cassava and maize. I was on the farm working with 11 workers when we discovered the fire coming from the other side of the farmland. It was a hot afternoon and the fire became intense. It took 11 of us three hours to put out the fire.
“About 20 hectares of our cassava farm and two hectares of rice farm that were due to be harvested were destroyed. We were supposed to harvest the cassava this year, while we also lost some economic trees like cashew.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )