In a distressing turn of events, a middle-aged farmer in Agudama, Bayelsa State, has appealed to law enforcement agencies and the state government for help following the destruction of her farmland by herders.
Madam Dasmo Epiri, the affected farmer, recounted her harrowing experience as her crops were ravaged by cows under the care of the herders.
The incident took place in the Kosmien area of Agudama Community, where the herders regularly bring their cows to graze.
Epiri told journalists who visited the area Tuesday, December 26, 2023 that she found herself unable to confront the herders, as they were armed with daggers and sticks.
Compelled by fear, she could only plead with them to spare her cassava crops, but her pleas fell on deaf ear.
Epiri lamented: “I am a widow with no one helping me. Herders invaded my farm with their cows. I could not confront them because they were armed with daggers. I knelt down and started crying. I begged them not to destroy and uproot my cassava, but the herders refused. They even uprooted the cassava to feed their cows.
The wooman said the latest incident occurred on Saturday, December 23, exacerbating her plight.
Expressing her frustration, she questioned the herders’ lack of consideration.
“I asked them if they don’t feed the cows before coming to the bush. Don’t you feel sorry for an old woman like me?” she said.
Overwhelmed by the situation, she resorted to cursing the herders, wishing that they would experience the same deprivation of food that she endured.
Epiri also shared her disappointment with the lack of action from local authorities. “We have always been complaining to our chief, but he does nothing,” she stated.
According to her, the chief claimed to have driven away the herders last year, but no gratitude was shown by the women of Agudama.
Struggling to comprehend why herders would destroy her farms and cause her to face starvation, Epiri expressed her dire circumstances.
“If not for a little gift for widows, I would not have had any food to eat. I have no money for fish or stew for Christmas and New Year,” she revealed.
Seeking resolution, Epiri called upon Governor Douye Diri to intervene and take measures to rein in the herders.
She expressed hope that the governor’s intervention will bring an end to the destruction of her farmland and prevent further suffering.
In response to the farmer’s plea, the Youth President of Agudama, whose name was not disclosed, expressed solidarity with Epiri and her fellow farmers. However, the Youth President’s full statement was not available at the time of this report.
As this distressing situation unfolds, the affected farmer and the community members of Agudama eagerly await the actions of the authorities, hoping for a swift resolution to their plight.