Food security threatened as attacks on farmers continue
Reported cases of clashes between suspected herdsmen and farmers across the country abound over the years, but of recent, farmers say the attacks on them by the herders have assumed a very dangerous dimension, thereby posing a serious threat to food security in the country.
From the Northern part of the country to the South, several attacks on the farmers by the herdsmen, which reportedly led to loss of hundreds of lives and property valued at millions of Naira, have been recorded just this year alone.
Findings showed that fatal clashes have occurred at different times in Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Kogi, Adamawa, Enugu, Cross River, Ondo and Ekiti states, just to mention a few.
Even an elder statesman and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, was not spared in the attacks as suspected herdsmen allegedly abducted him from his farm in Ondo State sometime last year. His crops were said to be have been totally destroyed by the herdsmen’s cattle.
Daily Trust learnt that in some states of the country such as Benue, Adamawa and Kaduna, among others, the suspected herdsmen have warned farmers to keep away from their farms or risk their lives.
Farmers, who spoke to our reporter, said they can no longer go to their farms for fear of being killed by the suspected herdsmen, who storm the farms unexpectedly with sophisticated weapons to carry out dangerous attacks.
The farmers maintained that if the worrisome behaviour continues, their farm business will suffer greatly and that could lead to low production and food insecurity in the nation.
One of the farmers from Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullahi Yusuf, said: “We hear of the killings by the herdsmen every time and everybody is scared of going to the farm. We are helpless and our farm business is dying. This could eventually lead to poverty and hunger in the land if nothing is done about it as soon as possible.”
Another farmer from Benue State, Mr. Terfa Unongo, told our reporter that going to the farm these days is like signing one’s ‘death warrant’ as “you are not sure of returning home alive.”
He decried the ugly situation and called on the government to act fast so as to halt the attacks to ensure food security and security of lives and property.
Reacting to the development, the President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Architect Kabir Ibrahim, said even if the said attacks are happening in some states, people should work with facts, but not exaggeration.
He added that steps were being taken by concerned authorities to address the situation.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has since said it will plant nutritious grasses in grazing reserves and establish cattle ranches across the country to end the vexing clashes, but the persistent attacks by suspected herdsmen continues to put Nigerian farmers in palpable fear.