Jos - Suspected vandals have invaded farms in Gyel and other communities in the Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau, destroying crops and plants.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who was taken round some of the farms on on Wednesday, observed that some of the crops were uprooted while others were cut down from the middle.
The destroyed crops were mainly maize ready for harvest.
Also destroyed were hectares of millet, rice, sorghum, sugar cane and other plantations.
A Youth Leader in Gyel Community, Pam Monday, whose farm was also destroyed, told NAN that such vandalism had been taking place in the community.
He accused herdsmen of being responsible for the destruction, alleging that the attackers had changed their tactics from attacking residents of the communities to destroying farms.
"In our community alone, 30 farms were destroyed by herdsman on Friday night. More were destroyed on Saturday morning.
"We believe the vandals are herdsmen because they led their cows into the farms to graze. Those that they couldn’t take the cows to, they used cutlasses to cut down.’’
Monday, who is also a member of the vigilance group in the area, claimed that efforts to get the attention of the Special Task Force (STF) maintaining peace in Plateau to intervened had proved fruitless.
"The STF men are here, but they hardly listen to our cries,'' he alleged.
Another resident whose farm was destroyed, Rose Bot, said that she spent huge sums of money to cultivate her rice farm that was destroyed.
"I am appealing to the State Government to step in and address the situation because we are left with nothing,'' a wailing Bot told NAN correspondent.
The STF Media Officer, Captain Salisu Mustapha, who confirmed receiving a report on the destruction, assured that efforts were being made to track down the suspects.
"The STF has put in a thorough search to that effect; we have vowed to track down the syndicate destroying farms in Plateau State,'' he said.
Mustapha, however, decried the act, wondering why people should resort to destroying crops.
The spokesman alleged that a gang was behind the destruction but debunked allegations that STF men around the affected areas were not taking the issue seriously.
"Why are they in those areas if not to protect the people and their property,?'' he asked.