Suspected hoodlums have set former Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo’s farm in Howe, Gwer Local Government Area of Benue State ablaze
It was gathered that over half of the mango farm, which is over 139 hectres of land was set on fire on Saturday.
According to the Chairman of the Gwer LGA, Emmanuel Otserga, the council received report about the incident at about 2pm on Saturday.
Otserga said “We received a report that the Obasanjo mango farm located at Howe was on fire and I quickly informed all the stakeholders, including traditional rulers and we swiftly moved there even the Fire Service also came but by the time we will put out the fire, over half of the farm was already razed.
“However, from the look of things, the fire was caused by the deliberate act of mischief makers, because the way that farm is safeguarded, there is no way fire can cross over from any quarter into the farm.”
He said stakeholders’ meeting was convened in the area to unravel the mystery surrounding fire in the farm.
The Director of Fire Service, Mr Donald Ikyaaza in benue state confirmed the incident.
He said his office received a call from the police Saturday afternoon and successfully put out the fire late at night.
“When we received the call from the Police in Aliade the Local Government Headquarters I dispatched my men to the place immediately and we were able to put out the fire outrightly.
“In fact, my men while coming back to Makurdi that night were caught by armed robbers who beat them seriously and collected all the money they hand on them including their handsets. So that was the compensation we got for fighting the fire at the Obasanjo farm.
“As for the exact cause of the fire, the men who went there said the people were fighting for compensation for land.
“Maybe the land was not adequately compensated so that is why they decided to set fire on the farm. That is the only information I got from them.
“But it was not all the farm that was burnt. Some trees are still there, the seeds were also saved,” he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene also confirmed the incident.
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