FORMER finance minister Chief Olu Falae has once more become the victim of Fulani cattle herdsmen who have again raided his farm near Akure in Ondo State and destroyed crops said to be worth millions of naira.
Chief Falae, 82, a one-time secretary to the federal government, finance minister and presidential candidate, has had a lot of problems with herdsmen on his farm, over recent years. On the September 21 2015, he was kidnapped on his farm on his 77th birthday, with the kidnappers demanding N100m ($500,000) as a ransom, which had to be paid before he was released three days later.
Prior and after his kidnapping, the herdsmen had come to his farm to destroy crops and now that they have returned, Chief Falae has asked the newly formed regional security network Amotekun to step in. According to Chief Falae, his farm has been under attack for several weeks now and he has written to the police and the Ondo State chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (Macban) but nothing has been done.
According to Chief Falae, some policemen were sent to the farm, who drove the bandits away but the following day after the police had left, the herdsmen returned to the farm, stole some crops and destroyed the ones they could not take away. They also attacked the residence of his farm workers with dangerous weapons and chased away the staff.
In a letter addressed to the commander of Amotekun, the state security outfit, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, Chief Falae asked that they save his farm from the incessant invasion of the herdsmen. Chief Adeleye confirmed the receipt of Chief Falae’s letter, saying they are working on it.
Chief Falae’s letter read: ” In the last few weeks, Fulani herdsmen came into my maize farm twice to eat up and trample large sessions of the farm. I reported the incidents to Alhaji Bello, the chairman of Miyetti Allah for Ondo State but nothing has happened.
“In the last few days, they have gone to attack my citrus farm by stealing harvested oranges and destroying what they could not carry away. The police on security duty on the farm were sent to drive them away but they have been coming back every night to attack my workers in our camp, breaking their doors and carting away all their belongings
“Please let Amotekun save us and our livelihood. They kidnapped me on 21st September 2015 and they should not be allowed to do it again.”