By George Okoh in Makurdi
Suspected herdsmen have allegedly set ablaze a farm belonging to the Governor of Benue State, Mr Samuel Ortom, in Gbajimba, Guma Local Government Area of the state.
Conducting newsmen round the burnt farm Wednesday, the Farm Manager, Hon. Kena Iordzua, said the herders came to the farm with a large number of cattle during the day and set the farm on fire at three different points.
He stated that due to the wild nature of the fire and as a result of the harmattan, the inferno could not be put out despite concerted efforts by the workers in the farm.
According to Iordzua, security agents were mobilised to go after the herdsmen who shot sporadically into the air as they retreated towards the Nasarawa border.
He estimated the burnt portion of the rice farm to be 250 hectares, which he said was worth well over N100 million.
In an interview with newsmen, the Principal Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties, Hon. Abrahams Kwaghngu, described the act as barbaric and a threat to food security.
He stated that a law prohibiting open grazing of cattle was still in force in the state and should be obeyed by all, stressing that the federal government needs to act fast to stop the impunity by the herders.
Kwaghngu lamented that after displacing the people from their ancestral homes for over a year, the herdsmen would not allow the little that had been cultivated to be harvested.