Suspected hoodlums have torched a mango farm reportedly owned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the Howe community, Gwer East LGA of Benue state.
The fire, which occurred on Saturday afternoon, was reportedly a result of possible disagreements with the locals over compensation for the land which was originally owned by the state government.
The Chairman of the Gwer East Local Government, Emmanuel Ortserga, confirmed the fire incident as a deliberate act by hoodlums.
Ortserga added that four persons have been arrested in connection with the fire while investigations were still on to apprehend more culprits.
He said, “The fire on the 139 hectares farm was started at about 2:00 pm on Saturday by hoodlums and nearly half of it is gone. It was clearly a sabotage.
“It was strange that there was a fire outbreak in the farm because the farm was properly safeguarded, so it was obvious that it was sabotage.
“We summoned a meeting of stakeholders and leaders over the matter in order to fish out the perpetrators and by the grace of God we have already apprehended four persons and investigation is still ongoing to fish out more culprits”.
The Director of the Benue State Fire Service, Donald Ikyaaza, and the Police Public Relations Officer, SP, Catherine Anene also confirmed the incident.