Chief Olu Falae, an elderstateman and chieftain of Afenifere, has said the incessant attacks on farmers and their farms by Fulani herdsmen are increasingly looking like a ploy to subjugate other tribes in order to take over their lands through intimidation and economic ruin.
The former Secretary to the Federal Government noted that the attacks were rampant in the Middle Belt and Southern part of the country.
He said the herdsmen were fond of carrying assault rifles, raping and maiming innocent farmers as well as allowing their cattle to destroy economic crops.
Falae said the cattle rearers’ penchant for violence was most likely aimed at chasing farmers away from their lands in order to take over them.
The former minister spoke at Iju/Itaogbolu, Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo state, as chairman of the 2017 edition of Forum for Good Governance (FGG), an annual sensitisation meeting.
“They have refused to leave my farms as well as several others. Their cattle ate up the thousands of palm trees that I planted and killed one of my security guards in the process.
“They are so well-armed and fearless that they once engaged policemen deployed to the farm in a gun duel. They have grown into monsters who regularly rape women and female children they come across in the farms and bushes.
“To me, it is nothing short of a ploy to rid the rural villages of its inhabitants so they could take over the land for their cattle. That is why we kicked against the plan to create grazing routes for them across the nation,” Falae said.
He called for concerted efforts to tackle the menace, even as he urged Christians to stop regarding politics as dirty, evil and ungodly, warning that such attitude would lead to unscrupulous people dictating the pace of national development.
Pastor Joshua Odeyemi, convener of the Forum, said the meeting was an attempt by the body of Christians to have a say in the running of the nation.
Latunji Lasebikan, Archbishop of the Anglican Communion, lamented the failure of Christians to be good representatives of their faith, saying they were chasing “ephemeral inanities that would not take them to eternity”.
Lasebikan wondered why corruption and evils would continue to rise astronomically despite the growing number of Christians and churches in the country.
He called for genuine awakening and said the true change that Nigeria needs should start from the church and Christian leaders.