By Sam Eyoboka
SPIRITUAL Leader of Saint Joseph’s Chosen Church of God, SJCCG, Apostle Hayford Alile who recently marked his 80th birthday, has called on President Muhamm-adu Buhari to arrest and pro-secute all militant herdsmen involved in the killing of inno-cent farmers in the Middle Belt region of the country.
In an interview, the pioneer Director General of the Nigeria Stock Exchange argued that only the prosecution of the Fulani herdsmen will restore lasting peace to the region and stave a looming food crisis as a result of the displacement of farmers.
Stressing that the region re-puted as the food basket of the nation desires serious protection if the nation is serious about an agricultural revolution.
Asked if he would throw his weight behind calls for the de-claration of the menacing Herd-smen as a terrorist organisa-tion, Apostle Alile said he would rather vote for the prosecut-ion of all criminal elements involved in the orgy of killing of innocent farmers in Benue and neighbouring states.
“They should be charged for killing and destroying proper-ties because their victims have not provoked them. Gover-nment must rise to the occas-ion and make haste to develop that sector of the nation’s eco-nomy,” he said.
Asked if he foresees a civil revolution as some people have predicted, Alile maintained that there would be no need for such a revolution because “there are a lot of programmes designed to transform the young people of this country into entrepreneurs and all sorts of social revolutions that will make them create jobs and wealth.
The apostle noted with regret that “some persons who made lofty promises to the elector-ate, never fulfilled them. That is the reason why people are calling for a revolution. The army of Nigerian unemployed youths could have been de-ployed to the agriculture se-ctor.”
He maintained, however, that “a lot is going on to increase yields of palm fruits, palm trees, nuts and tomatoes. Associations like rice producers and such like are being formed.
“We were told that within this year Nigeria would produce sufficient rice for local con-sumption and thereafter for export. There is a lot of pro-mise about tomatoes, ground-nuts for exports.
“The Agriculture Ministry has made some mistakes with yam export but I know that some of them have corrected the mistakes like the yam, potatoes and so on that will be accepted by exporters or importers,” the soft speaking cleric said.
“I spent a whole day recently with some friends who have over the years been working on biofuel. After listening to them, exchanging views with potential partners, I am convinced that some investors have managed to put together about $300 mill-ion to invest in that project and these are very serious people,” he stated.
Continuing, Alile assured that he was not just talking about people who will be selling bio-fuel products locally but also for export.
“So we are getting there and I pray God to help us in the area of leadership. There’s a song in Benin that says that prayer is much more powerful than cutlass. Let’s continue to pray, God will answer us,” Alile concluded.