Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, has said the Sunday evening fire on his farm at Ilado in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State was the handiwork of herdsmen.
He described the attack as malicious.
But the police said they would not point fingers until the conclusion of their investigation into the incident.
Falae spoke yesterday when the state government sent a delegation to check the damage the fire caused, with the police in tow.
He said: “I don’t know why herdsmen have been attacking my farm. They did it last year; they did the same the year before the last. That is how they burn it every year so that fresh grass can come out for their cattle to eat.
“They attack my oil palm cultivation. The mature oil palm trees that have been bearing fruits to make palm oil have been burnt down.”
The government delegation was on the farm for an on-the-spot assessment of the damage the fire caused.
The team was led by Commissioner for Agriculture, Gboyega Adefarati, who expressed sadness over the development.
Adefarati reiterated government’s readiness to send a bill to the House of Assembly to regulate the activities of herdsmen across the state.
Police Commissioner Gbenga Adeyanju led a team of security officers to the farm.
The police chief, who could not immediately ascertain the cause of the inferno, said investigations had begun on the incident to bring the culprits to justice.
The Olu of Ilu-Abo described the incident as a wicked act and malicious damage.
He said: “This goes beyond what their cattle want to eat. Cattle don’t eat oil palm. This is a malicious attack, which must be condemned by everybody.”
Also, the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) condemned the attack on the farm.
A statement yesterday by the Publicity Secretary of the Aare Gani Adams-led OPC, Yinka Oguntimehin, said “Sunday’s attack on the Afenifere leader’s farm was wicked, rude and shocking”.
It added: “The attack was a deliberate attempt by the suspected herdsmen to undermine the security of the country.”
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