Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has lamented the destruction of his 2,420 hectares farmland at Hawe in Aliade area of Gwer East Local Government of Benue State over the weekend.
Obasanjo, in a statement issued in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, described the burning down of his farm as a bad development.
The mango plantation belonging to the former President was destroyed by suspected hoodlums last weekend.
The former President, while reacting to the incident on Tuesday, said the local and state governments, including security agencies in the state have taken up the issue, with a view to fishing out the perpetrators.
The statement titled ‘Obasanjo condemns burning of farm in Benue’ read partly “Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described as a bad development, the burning of his 2,420 hectares of land farm at Howe in Aliade area of Gwer East Local Government of Benue State, at the weekend.
“Obasanjo said the local and state governments, including the security agencies in the state have taken up the issue, with a view to fishing out the perpetrators and prosecution.
“The former President thanked those who had called him to identify with him on the incident, stressing that, despite the huge loss on the farm land as a result of the inferno, there was no death recorded, and this is gladdening to note.”
Meanwhile, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has ordered a full-scale investigation into the circumstances surrounding the burning of the farm.
He also directed the state Commissioner of Police to ensure that the perpetrators were fished out and brought to justice.
Ortom, in a statement by his media aide, Nathaniel Ikyur, expressed sadness over the incident.
The statement said the governor ordered a full-scale investigation into the incident “to unravel the remote and immediate cause of the fire outbreak.”
“Where it is discovered that the fire was an act of sabotage, the perpetrators must be brought to book,” the statement read in part.
The governor insisted that no act of sabotage would be tolerated, adding that his government had a deliberate policy to encourage local and foreign investors, especially in agriculture.
While tasking security operatives to do all that was necessary to get to the root of the matter, Ortom added, “It is the height of irresponsibility for anyone to think of setting ablaze a farm that is set to, in the very near future, boost the economic development of the area in particular and state in general.
“Obasanjo, as a former President, is a statesman and needs to be accorded his due respect anywhere in Nigeria and Benue State cannot be an exception.”