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Grief, Lamentation As PRESCO Bulldozes Farms In Ukwuani LGA

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…Farmers Call For Probe

By Emmanuel Bertrams

Farmers from the various communities along the stretch of the Ethiope River, namely Owa-Abbi, Obinomba and Obiaruku e.t.c all in Ukwuani Local Government Area, who eke out their survival by engaging their subsistence farming, along the vast farmland, across the Ethiope river are in pains, and presently lamenting the flagrant lose of their farms and the insensitivity of PRESCO (Nig) PLC a big rubber processing company in Edo state, which has allegedly bought the reserved farmland and since last month [May] have engaged to clear out the land for their rubber plantation.

Oasis magazine correspondent who visited part of the destroyed farms, confirmed that the on-going bulldozing and cleaning of the farmlands, have resulted to the destruction of farms as the farms which have food crops, especially cassava, have been destroyed.

A score of the affected farmers were seen by our correspondent as they hastily savaged little pieces of crops which have merely two to four months for maturity and harvesting.

All attempt made to speak with the farmers and bulldozer operators proved abortive as they all busied themselves in their efforts to pick the few cassava leftovers and yam crops, lying atop the sand which the bulldozer have harvested as the tilling and cleaning process subsisted.

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However, one of the farmers, an advanced man from Obiaruku who begged to be anonymous narrated a heart rending experience, saying that he went to farm on a fate full day of 3rd June, 2023, to meet a bulldozer accompanied by several security operatives, bulldozing his hard earned farm which consists of food crops hopely targeted to be harvested in about four months and which is his only source of daily food supply for the next one year.

He noted with tears that the company authorities who sent the bulldozer to do the cruel destruction of people’s farms could not give them as little as one month grace to enable them harvest their crops despite their immaturity so that they could rely on whatever little they could harvest for a few months before they could get hold of crops from other farms which they would have commenced planting immediately.

The issue of boundary between Edo and Delta state, at the Obiaruku/Abraka axis has been festering ir quite a long time, as the people who used the reserved plots for farming always claim that the actual boundary has never been actually determined by the government of the two sister states, since Delta was carved out of the defunct Bendel state where the people (of Delta) used to be with their sister, Edo.

The multibillion question is why has the successive administrations in the two states never found it necessary to officially determine the boundary and therefore ensure a peaceful atmosphere between inhabitants of the boundary area of the two states.

It’s important therefore for all relevant stakeholders to come out and do the needful before the current situation of things snowballs into violent confrontation and possible ethnic war in the disputed area.

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