Photo: One of the many farmlands with near-harvest crops hacked down in the dead of the night by unknown criminals in Plateau State.
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau State has condenmed the destruction of farmers’ crops in some communities in the state by criminals, and warned that the act was capable of provoking crisis and returning the state to the era of pain and agony.
Periscope International recalls that some unknown criminals in the state have recently been going about in the dead of the night cutting down farmers’ crops some of which are almost due for harvest.
The Governor who described the act as “callous, criminal, inhuman and wicked,” said it was unimaginable for crops almost ready for harvest to be destroyed by criminals for whatever reasons, and such premeditated act must be stopped.
In a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, on Wednesday in Jos, Lalong said:
“The recent case of such intentional decimation of farm crops in Kpachudu, Jebbu Miango in Bassa Local Government Area is totally condemnable and unacceptable.
“From the reports, this is a carefully planned and executed act that is not only meant to provoke crisis, suspicion and instability in the area, but also render the victims poor and hungry.
“What these criminals fail to understand is that such actions will eventually leave the entire state and the country with food shortages where even the perpetrators will not escape.”
Gov Lalong who sympathised with the affected farmers, promised to ensure that they get justice and assured them that government was working with the security agencies to do everything within its power to unravel those behind the barbaric act and decisively deal with them.
He therefore instructed security agencies to immediately conduct a thorough investigation into the unfortunate incidents, arrest perpetrators for prosecution accordingly.
Lalong also directed the Plateau State Peace Building Agency to visit the affected areas and ascertain the level of damage, as well as foster dialogue within the communities with a view to ensuring that the reoccurrence of such incidents are avoided.
The governor appealed to communities, traditional rulers, youth groups and vigilante groups across the state to be proactive by providing security agencies with requisite intelligence.
According to him, this would go a long way to pre-empt and foil such plans, as well as assist in arresting the perpetrators, “who clearly are on a mission to return Plateau to the era of pain and agony.”