JUST IN: Are Nigerian Farmers Safe? 165 Killed in March as Bandits Rampage Across States

Are Nigerian Farmers Safe? 165 Killed in March as Bandits Rampage Across States

Are Nigerian Farmers Safe? 165 Killed in March as Bandits Rampage Across States

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The state of insecurity in Nigeria has reached a fever pitch, and farmers are at the receiving endReports have confirmed that over 160 farmers have been killed in a bandit attack just within March of 2024Some of the states affected by this dastard act include Benue, Plateau, Niger and other states in the south

Henzodaily.ng journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

Recent investigations reveal that over 165 farmers have tragically lost their lives due to attacks by bandits, causing significant disruptions to farming activities nationwide.

According to testimonies from farmers in states like Benue, Sokoto, Niger, and Plateau, not only have they suffered crop losses due to these attacks, but many have also witnessed the loss of fellow farmers at the hands of these criminals.

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Terror attacks in several states has led to the demise of over 160 farmers nationwideFarmers in Benue, Sokoto, Borno, Niger, and Plateau have all been affected. Photo Credit: Kola Sulaimon
Source: Getty Images

The escalating violence has forced many farmers to abandon their fields out of fear.

Benue State has witnessed the highest number of casualties, with 130 farmers falling victim to bandit attacks.

The Association of Nigerian Farmers in Benue reported that this month alone, 130 farmers lost their lives across four local government areas due to banditry.

In Sokoto State, 28 farmers have lost their lives since the start of the year, with six more falling victim to bandit attacks in Niger State. Additionally, a farmer was killed by bandits in Plateau State.

The farming community in Sokoto State has expressed distress over the payment of at least N3 billion in ransoms to bandits who abducted them from their fields.

Banditry has seen a recent increase, with more than 295 individuals being held captive by kidnappers across Sokoto, Kaduna, and Borno states.

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Farmer’s agony in Benue

Expressing concern over the impact on agriculture, Aondongu Saaku, the Chairman of the AFAN in Benue State, voiced distress about the recent kidnapping of six farmers within a fortnight.

He revealed that farmers have suffered losses exceeding N1.1bn due to assaults by bandits over the past several months in the state.

As quoted by Punch, Saaku said:

“The figure I will give you is for March alone so you can know the gravity of what farmers in the state are passing through.

“Six farmers were kidnapped in their farms. No fewer than 130 farmers were also killed in Kwande, Ukum, Agatu, and Apa LGAs.”

The chairman of AFAN in Benue State was asked to estimate the potential losses incurred by its members, to which he responded:

“It’s difficult to quantify because how do we quantify those farm crops that were harvested and burnt by the bandits?

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“It’s huge. We will be talking about something around N1.1bn, because many farmers lost the whole farm, some over 100 bags of rice, several thousands of tuber of yams and the seeds, cassava chips, corn and a host of others.”

Saaku emphasised the dire situation faced by farmers, stating that venturing to the fields was a difficult decision, with survival hanging in the balance.

He stressed that the risk was unavoidable for those without alternative means of income.

Saaku urged the Federal Government to urgently address the security crisis, cautioning that failure would soon lead to widespread famine.

Borno and Delta’s situation

Farmers in Borno State highlighted a staggering 90% decrease in sorghum production and other crops.

Farmers from Delta State stated that last Tuesday eight of their members were abducted last week and had to pay ransoms ranging from N1m to N5m each.

They revealed that due to the frequent incidents of kidnapping in the state, farmers in Ika North-East and Aniocha South Local Government Area were unable to reach their farms.

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A farmer, Mr Okwudili Uti, in the Ute-Okpu community, said:

“In Ute-Okpu, Ute-Erumu, Abavo and communities around the Ika North-East, recently when the kidnapping started, we usually go to farms in groups. But last week, about eight farmers were kidnapped, and some paid ransoms of between N1m and N5m.

“Our farm produce have all gone bad in the farms because we cannot go to the farm even in groups, due to the fear of being kidnapped.”

Gunfire erupts between militia groups in Benue, leaving 45 dead

In another report, the Nigerian Police Command in Benue state verified a distressing event in the Gbagir community of the Ukum local government area.

According to reports, there was an exchange of gunfire between different militia factions in the state, resulting in the tragic loss of an entire family.

The family comprised seven individuals, and an additional 38 victims have been identified.

Source: Henzodaily.ng

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