Famine Looms As Farmers Fear Bandits, Herdsmen Ahead Of Rainy Season - News at its peak

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Famine Looms As Farmers Fear Bandits, Herdsmen Ahead Of Rainy Season

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The awaited rainy season when farmers in this part of the world will resume their farming activities to ensure availability of food in the country for Nigerians, is almost here.

Generally, first rainfall in Nigeria is usually expected in the month of March which is a few days from now.

Unlike other years when farmers in the country expressed joy in anticipation for the farming season, 2021 seems different as farming activities in the year may be marred by increasing insecurity due to the incessant herdsmen crisis and the increasing rate of kidnapping by bandits and other suspected criminals across the country.

Many states in Nigeria have recently witnessed unusual security challenges beginning from late 2020 till date.

It could be recalled that on September 27, 2020, suspected bandits killed five farmers at Yanteba village in Malumfashi Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The bandits were reported to have stormed the village on a reprisal attack after three of their colleagues were allegedly killed by community members.

In another development, suspected bandits on November 30, 2020 killed seven farmers, including a nursing mother, in three communities of Tashar Bama, Dogun Muazu and Unguwar Maigayya villages, all in Sabuwa Local Government Area of Katsina State.

A member of the Katsina State House of Assembly representing the area, Ibrahim Danjuma Machika, who confirmed the killings on the floor of the House while sponsoring a motion for the reinforcement of security in some villages in his constituency, said the security agencies appeared helpless over the situation.

He said: “Apart from the number killed, the bandits abducted a total of 30 other villagers from the affected communities.

“The hoodlums may have changed from their previous method of launching their offensives on villages at night as they currently attack the people in broad daylight.

“Our people now live in fear as the bandits now carry out attacks in our villages in broad daylight. They kill the people, cart away their property and kidnap as many people as they can.

“There is no day, bandits don’t attack one community or another and the people no longer sleep in their houses.”

Aside from being the largest producer of cotton in the country, Katsina State is also known for the production of millet, guinea corn, groundnut, maize, beans, rice and wheat.

Recalls that a resident of Dankurmi village in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State reportedly cried out on November 12, 2020 that his community pays tax and “harvest fees” to bandits to enable them access their farmland.

“Our people have stopped going to their farmlands for fear of being kidnapped or killed. Kidnapping has become a common phenomenon in this area.

“Bandits are now the ones who decide whether we go to farms or not, in some areas even if farmers plant crops they cannot cultivate due to insecurity.

“In my village, we pay N800,000 as tax and N900,000 as harvest fees. Even if you pay, they will come to your farm and abduct you. This Fulani herdsmen are our problem here in Zamfara, only God can help us”, he said.

Meanwhile, Just a few days ago, about three farmers were slaughtered in Ijugbere axis of Owo Local

Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State following an attack on a community.

Akin Olotu, Senior Special Assistant on Agriculture to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu who confirmed the incident, said those criticising the Governor for issuing a seven-day ultimatum to herders should be charged as accomplices in the attack.

The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on January 18 this year, gave seven days ultimatum to herdsmen to immediately vacate forest reserves within the state.

Akeredolu who fumed over the nefarious activities of herdsmen across the state, stated that his administration would not fold its arms and allow a few individuals to turn the State into a haven of dare-devil criminals.

Akeredolu’s order generated several controversies as even the presidency argued that ”insecurity is not alien to any group, the language they speak, their geographical location or their faith.”

Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, in a statement, encouraged the state government to tackle all forms of criminality but not to breach the rights of herders in the state.


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