Farmers in Zamfara state have narrated how they now pay monies to bandits before they will be allowed to go into their farmland to farm. The farmers said they have since abandoned their farm as a result of being killed or kidnapped by the bandits.
Mr. Sanusi Muhammad, the Secretary of the farmers association in Zamfara, narrated how farmers contribute monies and give to bandits to be allowed to enter their farm. He warned that will lead to a serious crisis if the situation is not addressed.
Muhammad said bandits send messages to farmers to contribute monies to be allowed to go to their farms or not to be attacked.
“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” he added.
In a separate interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the farmers narrated how they have been paying bandits to be allowed to farm while warning against food crisis as a result of many farms that have been abandoned for fear of attacks or kidnapping by the bandits.
Mr. Muhammad Idris, the Secretary of the association disclosed to NAN that more than 350 rice farmers have deserted their farms as a result of bandits attacks in Danko/Wasagu, Argungu, Yauri, Ngaski, Zuru, and Birnin Kebbi local government areas of Kebbi state.
Mr. Garba Isah, a farmer in the Gwadangwaji area of Birinin Kebbi, disclosed that he has since abandoned his farm for fear of attacks by bandits while appealing to the government to do something urgently to address the issue to avert food crisis.
Mr. Alhaji Nuhu Aminu, the Kaduna State association chairman, told NAN that many farmers in the state have deserted their farms as a result of high insecurity in the state. He said, may do not go to their farm for fear of being kidnapped.
Mr. Ibrahim Musa, a farmer at Karau-Karau community says they can no longer go to their farms for fear of being killed or kidnapped by the bandits.
NAN reports that in Giwa Local Government Area, communities such as Fatika, Sabon Sara, Kidandan, Galimawa, Gangara, and Iyatawa can no longer go to their farms because they are afraid of being killed or kidnapped by the bandits.
North-west zone of Nigeria, particularly, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina state have recorded cases of bandits attacks leading to the killing of many persons and community resident deserting their homes.
Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigeria president on Thursday in a meeting with the security chiefs, ordered them to ensure the nation is secured. “Nigerians must go to bed with their eyes closed,” the president said.