A rice farmer in Ondo State, Amaka Okafor has narrated how some Fulani Herdsmen attacked her on her rice plantation. She disclosed this during an interview with Punch News. Read her narration of how the incident happened below.
This lady says she has been living in Ogbese, Community in the Akure North LGA of Ondo State for the past 20 years. She says she is a widow as she lost her husband to an accident about 10 years ago. She has been providing for her child and herself through her rice farming until she had a clash with some herdsmen.
Amaka says that she had a peaceful relationship with some of the herdsmen who always seek their permission before grazing their cows on her farm. She says that those herders do not live with them in Ogbese. All they did was come and return to their base. She said that they would buy haystack (leftover grass of the rice) from them in order to feed their cows but most times, she usually gave them for free.
She said that those herders never tampered with her rice which she usually kept in her in the farm until everything changed about 6 years ago. She says that a new set of Fulani came to their village and they were quite bad and dangerous that the former ones even warned them that they were foreigners and they should be very careful while dealing with them. She said one of the old herders told her this personally when he was leaving.
HOW AMAKA WAS ATTACKED
Amaka says that she went to her farm to spray pesticide on her newly planted rice on that fateful day. When she got to her farm, she saw at least four herdsmen feeding their cows on her rice plantation. She then approached the eldest among them that he and his colleagues should stop coming to her plantation with their cows because she is investing millions of money on her farm and it is quite unfair that the herders are feeding their cows with her money and sweat.
She said that some of the herders complied but there was a particular boy among them that was still forcing his way and cows into her farm despite the barricade and warning she gave them. She said she saw this boy in the afternoon and she went to challenge him to take his cows and leave her plantation because they are destroying her farm produce.
After the boy insisted, she told him that nemesis would catch up with him in the future and God would judge him. This made the boy very furious and he said to her that she is mad and he brought out his cutlass to attack her. Amaka saw the cutlass and she started running for her safety but the boy kept chasing her and later caught up with her in the bush.
She says she fell to the ground and the boy swung his cutlass to cut her neck but she was able to block it with her hand and her wrist was almost cut off. Luckily, one of her workers was in the plantations that day and he was the one who ran to her aid before the boy (herder) took her life on her farm. She sustained a very deep cut on her wrist and head.
She found out in the hospital that her vein had been cut but the doctor saved her life. She says that she recognizes the boy and she reported him to the Divisional Crime Officer of the community but up till date the boy has not been arrested. She says that the boy and his family members live in her community yet they have not been arrested.
‘I’m a widow with a child and an aged mother, who I’m taking care of. I need protection as well as financial assistance, because as it is now, I have loans to repay; the herdsmen have destroyed my farm, how will I repay the loans? Now, I’m fed up. I think it is time I quit. I want to leave Ondo State entirely. The debt will be too much for me to bear.’- Amaka laments.
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