URE hy Pas­toral life is a pop­u­lar high­way

Daily Trust - - DIGEST -

crimes. The doc­u­ment shows that live­stock rear­ing has dropped to an abysmal level, while peo­ple no longer go to their farms. It draws at­ten­tion to de­vel­op­ments around the No­madic Ed­u­ca­tion Train­ing Cen­tre (NETC) where adult learn­ers dropped from 126 to 12 within the year 2016-2017. Also, school en­rol­ment dropped from 158 to 28 pupils, due to mi­gra­tion to Oyo, Og­bo­moso, Ig­beti and Ilorin, in ad­di­tion to mass with­drawal of pupils from no­madic pri­mary schools.

Over N23m paid as ran­soms

Apart from Datti Adamu who fled from his cap­tors and there­fore never paid any ran­som, there is a long list of those who paid huge sums to the kid­nap­pers, and these vic­tims live along both sides of the high­way. There is the sad story of a no­mad whose two wives were kid­napped, and all his cat­tle stolen shortly af­ter. At the end he be­came hy­per­ten­sive and he passed on. There are no safety nets to sup­port no­mads who have had their cat­tle rus­tled or whose cat­tle have per­ished as a fall­out of dis­ease. Daily Trust is told of Al­haji Idi who lives in Isa near Jere, and was kid­napped last week. He was re­leased only when his fam­ily sold some of their cows to raise the N1m ran­som. Ahamad Adamu, a herder who nar­rates the story, adds “If govern­ment does not in­ter­vene, next year all of us will leave here be­cause the kid­nap­pers are mak­ing life tough for all of us.” Idris Abubakar had to raise N800,000 which was the ran­som paid to re­lease a rel­a­tive of his who was kid­napped at Kasiri near Jere. The list is end­less.Mo­ham­madu Chibi, a herder, lives at Bishini. He paid the sum of N650,000 when his two wives were kid­napped. On top of this and to com­pound the prob­lem, 320 of his cows were re­cently rus­tled. But Ardo Makama Ibrahim Mo­hammed tells Daily Trust that 10 per­sons were kid­napped at Katari re­cently, and a ran­som of N10m had to be paid be­fore they were re­leased. Mo­hammed Dauji, a farmer, speaks of a no­mad whose 2 wives were kid­napped, and the sum of N1.2m was paid be­fore they were re­leased. Buba Dai of Gadan Maka­man Mam­man, paid a huge sum as ran­som when mem­bers of his fam­ily were ab­ducted. This hap­pened on four oc­ca­sions. On the first oc­ca­sion he paid N450,000. N660,000 was paid to re­lease the sec­ond and third kid­napped per­sons, while N330,000 was paid dur­ing the fi­nal ab­duc­tion, and these pay­ments were all made this year.

Sar­dauna Al­has­san of Pole Wire, Kachia paid well over N4m as ran­som be­tween late last year and early this year. Musa Adamu of the Gu­rara dam area paid N2.5 m in ran­soms. Ya­haya Musa had to give out N350,000 so that kid­nap­pers wont ha­rass him. But later his son was kid­napped and he had to cough out N2m to get him back. Adamu Jirgi of Jan­jala was kid­napped, and he had to pay N500,000 to his ab­duc­tors. Ardo Bawa Idris who lives at Koron Tso­huwa nar­rates “The kid­nap­pers con­tacted me and asked me to pay N2m, so that I won’t be kid­napped. I was only able to give them N250,00 and they left me alone.” Isa Shehu of Katari adds that he un­know­ingly en­ter­tained kid­nap­pers one evening at his camp, only for them to re­turn the next day to kid­nap his brother, and he had to pay N1m be­fore he was re­leased. Herds are be­ing de­pleted through reg­u­lar sales, for this is the only way monies can be raised to set­tle the ran­som de­mands, and the no­mads are be­com­ing poorer and poorer and the pop­u­la­tion of both cows and herders along the high­way has shrunk. Many are forced to migrate to more favourable lo­ca­tions both within and out­side the coun­try. Over 6,422 cat­tle have been rus­tled in a mass of com­mu­ni­ties ly­ing be­tween Jere and Katari in the first few months of this year. Among these there is the daz­zling fig­ure of 1,100 cat­tle grabbed from Al­haji Gambo of Katari in a sin­gle night. These sta­tis­tics are based on in­ter­views with 37 no­mads in the area last week­end.

Pho­tos: Tadaferua Ujorha

et has dropped ow­ing to the ef­fects of rustling and kid­nap­ping.

Jere’s pop­u­lar snake charmer

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