By Kola Ekeolere
A businessman and farmer, Omorodion Elvis Evbade has cried out over several attempts on his life and murder of two of his farm workers by Fulani herdsmen even as he lamented the destruction of his multi million Naira Agro-allied farm while the Police watched helplessly.
Evbade, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Elvisam Nigeria Limited and owner of Elvisam Farms located at Iguobazuwa Village, Ovia Southwest Local Government of Edo State disclosed during a Press Conference in Ikeja, Lagos yesterday.
Visibly shaken and in tears, he stated that he barely escaped with his life during one of the invasions of his farm by the herdsman adding that all his efforts to get the Nigerian Police to investigate the invasion and possibly bring the perpetrators to justice failed as they watched the herdsmen not only wrecked his multi million Naira investments but also turned his farmland into a killing field.
“I am alive today to address this Press Conference by the special grace of God, if not for the grace of God I would have been killed by the Fulani herdsmen that invaded my farm on two occasions. During one of the invasions two of my workers were killed and the Police did nothing. As I speak with you not one suspect has been arrested by the police even though I reported the incident to the police,” Evbade disclosed.
On February 27 2018, Fulani herdsmen led their cattle’s to graze on my farmland and they destroyed several millions worth of crops. When my workers tried to stop them they were attacked with guns and machetes and several of my workers sustained various degrees of injuries. When the information reached me I rushed to the farm to see that my farmland had been destroyed in a very terrible manner and my workers severely injured by this heartless Fulani herdsmen.
The next day I rushed to the nearby police station and reported the matter but the police told me to return to my farm and promised to mobilize their men to the scene. Of course they didn’t go near my farm.”
Evbade said after the first attack he went to the police for protection out of concern that the herdsmen could return adding that the police told him that they have to carry out a full investigation before they can grant him protection.
According to him, “Emboldened by the refusal of the Police to arrest the murderous herdsmen and bring them to justice, or protect his vast farmland against a repeat invasion, the dreaded Fulani herdsmen came back again on March 6, 2018 barely a week after the first attack and left in their wake total chaos and unquantifiable destruction and, this time killing two members of staff of Elvisam Nigeria Limited.
“I was devastated and infuriated by the killing of my workers while the Police did nothing to their killers to the point that I released videos of the destruction on social media and called out the entire Police Force and insisted that they were complicit in the attacks.”
When I went back to the station, one officer called me aside and told me that there was nothing they could do. I was shocked, I couldn’t believe my ears. I told him I will petition the Inspector General of Police and the gentleman told me that if I did so, I would be charged for murder; he said the Police will prove in court that the deceased workers died on my farm because I failed to provide adequate security for them before getting them on the farm to work.”
Mr. Elvis Evbade who was livid with rage expressed his disaffection over the way and manner the police in the state handled the wanton destruction of his business and farm land and the Killing of his workers.
Several reports of the murderous and destructive activities indicated that the Herdsmen appeared to be emboldened by the inability of the nation’s security forces, including the Nigerian Police Force to prosecute and bring culprits to book, as such the perpetrators have capitalized on this to engage in kidnappings, maiming and killing of innocent and hardworking citizens.
Evbade explained further that matters took another twist when the Police became aware of the video of the incident decided to clamp down on anyone sharing the video and also followed with threats of arrest and intimidation.
The actions of the police following Evbade’s complaints are not new as there have been countless other cases involving Nigerians even as many of them have had their farm lands destroyed and either killed or threatened for daring to defend their properties from being turned to grazing areas by the marauding herdsmen.
Indeed, the Police have been found to be complicit and sometimes too incapable of dealing with maintaining internal security in the country. Analysts have also blamed lack of political will to reign in the killer herdsman as a major reason behind the seeming powerlessness of the Police to deal with the situation and pointed at the body language of the Presidency as tacit support for the activities of the herdsmen thus their apparent untouchable.