The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ondo State Command, has vowed to combat cattle rustling and armed banditry as well as prevent herders and farmers conflict in the state.
The State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr Philip Ayuba, said this during a meeting with farmers and herders on Thursday in Akure.
“In a bid to safeguard the growing investments of the agricultural sector in Ondo state, the NSCDC will continue to protect both local and foreign investors and ensure serene environment across the state.
“Based on the Federal Government determination in diversification of economy the Agro Rangers Special Squad of NSCDC will continue to intensify efforts in combating cattle rustling, armed banditry as well as preventing herders and farmers’ conflict.
“The Agro Rangers Unit of our command has always intervened whenever there is conflict between farmers and herders in such circumstance to prevent reprisal attacks or clashes.
”Our officers and men will continue to act proactively by safeguarding all federal, state and private agro-based investments in Ondo state,” he said.
Ayuba explained that the command had continually received complaints from farmers on malicious damage of their farm crops, leading to poor productivity during harvest.
He enjoined the Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and the Association of Farmers in the state, to desist from any act that could result in conflicts between farmers and herders.
The commandant called on agro-allied investors and the public to cooperate and collaborate with government in its economic diversification plan.
Ayuba said the command would continue to synergise with sister agencies to eradicate all forms of criminal activities in the state.
In response, the state Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Shehu Garba, commended the NSCDC for taking necessary steps to foster peace among the farmers and herdsmen.
Garba, however, advised herders across the country to shun encroachment into farm lands and damaging of crops.
The Spokesman for the farming Ipinsa community, Mr Olatunbosun Olasunkanmi, lamented the destruction of farm crops in the community by some herders.
He said that the situation had discouraged the farmers from planting.
Olatunbosun called on government to come to the aid of farmers to enable them to increase food productivity.