How herdsmen troubled me –farmer


Fulani herdsmen have continued to destroy farms belonging to Deltans just as they kidnap for ransom and even kill and bury their victims and in some cases rape women in their farms

Rev Fr Jude Ifeanyichukwu, a native of Issele-Uku in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, is one of their victims as he has been kidnapped twice in four years precisely in December 2016 and September 2020.

The two abduction incidents took place in the large hectares of land owned by his company, Ifeanyi Farms in Issele-Uku. The farm produces corn and pineapple for local markets in Delta as well as the markets in Onitsha, Anambra State and Port Harcourt in Rivers State.

Now, the priest who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the farm, no longer go to his farms to avoid being kidnapped. Only his workers go to work.

He however  said he no longer see the value for the money he spends on payment of wage bills since he’s not on ground on the farm to ensure it adequate productivity.

For this reason and the fact that he’s not ready to continue to risk his life in the hands of Fulani herdsmen, he sees the farm folding up soon.

Should the farm close down completely, the priest said it’s negative impacts would be glaring.

“The food supply of the area (Issele-Uku and Delta at large) will collapse because my own farm alone can feed the whole of Delta with Corn and Pineapple.

“When they abducted me last September, they tortured me to make sure they got the ransom they asked for. They asked me to sell the farm or give them N100 million.

The particular land in question,  has over 100 hectares of land. I have farms here and there  but the one they kidnapped me from was more than 100 hectares.

They threatened that if I did not sell the farm and give them the said amount they would kill me, he said.

He gave his abductors the phone number of one of the Reverend Fathers in his area who negotiated with the them and millions were paid to them.

“I didn’t pay up to N100 million but I know a lot of money were paid in millions. People made the contributions to ensure I was released.

“I was truly attacked and injured while they moved me through the bushes in Issele-Uku and neighbouring communities like Issele-Azagba. At last they dropped me in front of Road Safety office, Issele-Uku having collected the ransom.

“The first time I was kidnapped, the negotiation was different because I told them I was driver to the owner of the farm. This second abduction,  huge random was paid because they tortured my workers one after the other until they revealed to them that I was the farm owner.

The priest cum entrepreneur called on Federal Government to understand that the major reason government exist is security.

Most communities in Delta State had in the past months set up Vigilante Groups in a bid to solve security challenges facing their people but the priest said,

“No Vigilante Group with toy gun equivalent, can face these herdsmen with AK47 and Pump Action.

According to him, the impact of the activities of “Operation Delta Hawk”a security outfit inaugurated by the Delta State Government in December 2020, is yet to be felt.

He decried a situation where those in governance care not for the masses and urged Delta State Government and it’s officials to  desist from being interested in filling their own pockets. They should remember that success of any government is security, he concluded.