Thursday, 1 September 2016

Woman narrates how herdsmen crisis forced her family members to sleep on the road

Gloria Ngwutor, Ayiin, a widow from Logo local government area of Benue state, has revealed how her family members once slept on the roadside in a strange community, as a result of attacks from herdsmen.

Ngwutor, who is the president of NKST Widows Cooperative Group, told NAN in an interview that many women have been forced to abandon their farmlands.

She lamented the effect of the violence on different women, appealing to the government for assistance.

Benue is one of the states where rampaging herdsmen have wreaked havoc.

“Last Saturday was the first time some of us widows visited our farms, just to see and evaluate the situation of things,” she said.

“We only returned (to our community) few weeks ago, after being displaced from our homes by the crisis; I put my family in a car and drove away from the community where we slept on the road.”

Ngwutor, who is also a retired civil servant, said the major problem facing the community was lack of transportation to the market in the city.

She noted that widows in the cooperative were very lucky, as the local government had provided them with fertiliser and other inputs, through loan.

“This year they gave us 50 bags at N4, 000 per bag and we shall pay back after harvest,” she said.

James Agara, a young farmer and a fresh graduate of the College‎ of Agriculture, Yandev, Gboko, asked the government to provide adequate security in order to avert a recurrence of the crisis.

He also appealed for the provision of access road to boost economic activities in the community.
“We are pleading that they should help us because already we are

down and we are looking just for help so that we can start up and gain something,” he said.

“Financially, we are not buoyant enough to say we can leave the grazing areas and start looking for areas to farm. So, if they will aid us, we will be very happy.

“Because up till this moment, it is not advisable or good to work at the boundary of the river basin, because we do not know, next time it could be more horrible than what we just experienced.”

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