Farmers in Amala, Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State have appealed to government and security agencies to intervene and avert another looming faceoff between herdsmen and farmers in the area following the destruction of their farm produce by the herdsmen's cattle.
An Anglican cleric, the Venerable Kingsley Okere of St. Andrew's Anglican Church, Amala who made the appeal when the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egbu, Rt. Rev Geoffrey Okorafor, paid a pastoral visit to the church noted that the activities of the herdsmen and their cattle were already posing serious threat to the flock of God in the area.
He said that they were not only worried over the current level of devastation of the people's farms but were also overwhelmed by the trailer loads of these cattle being dropped daily in the area and wondered when the invasion of the farms would end.
Ven. Okere, who observed that activities of these herdsmen and their cattle were causing unimaginable pains on the farmers, who depend solely on farming for their survival and sustenance, expressed the fear that hunger would begin to ravage the communities if nothing was done to checkmate the activities of the herdsmen.
The traditional ruler of one of the three autonomous Communities in Amala, Eze Bennette Osinachi Uduhirinwa of Alatia community, described the situation as very serious and critical. Eze Uduhirinwa, noted that tension was already building up and the youths threatening a showdown with the invaders but were being calmed down.
He joined in the appeal to all relevant authorities to urgently step in to restrain the herdsmen from further destruction of their farms. Amala is a border town between Imo State and Rivers State, inhabited by peasant farmers and noted as the food basket of Imo State.
Activities of herdsmen in Ngor Okpala have become frequent in the local government area but the indigenes have applied restraint to avoid violence.
(c) Christian Voice Newspaper