Sunday, November 04, 2012

Hoodlums Destroy N20m Oil Palm Farm In Enugu

Some unidentified persons have uprooted and set fire on the N20m Belform cocoa and palm oil plantation at Agboefiugo-Umuaram-Ikem area in Isi-Uzo council of Enugu State.

The act, The PUNCH learnt, was carried out on Saturday night. The over 2,000 destroyed palm stands were raised as nursery from Ikom in Cross River State and planted in the plantation early this year.

The farm consultant, Odu Okim, on Sunday, described the incident as economic sabotage, “especially at this period that government is encouraging investment in agriculture.”

He stated that the destruction has set back the investors’ morale and would obviously affect the number of employed farm attendants.

Okim, therefore, called on Isi-Uzo Local Government Area, the Enugu State Government and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to commence full-scale investigation into the incident with hope of bringing the culprits to book.

The traditional ruler of Ikem community, Igwe Francis Okwor, said the land was not in dispute and wondered why the action was meted on his community.

He said, “I am worried because millions of naira have gone down the drain. Even before the discovery of crude oil, palm oil sustained the economy of Eastern Nigeria that it was even exported.

“I have already made a report to the police where I complained that what the people have done is bad. I don’t want my community to shed any blood again and that was why I reported to the government through the police. I’ve already told my people not to fight but to wait for government intervention.”

......Ozioma Ubabukoh/Punch
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