- Kaduna Northern Nigeria: On June 5, 2023, a tragic incident occurred in the western part of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Suspected bandits launched an attack on farms located in Shiwaka, Unguwan Bagudu, and Sabonlayi areas, resulting in the deaths of two farmers and several others sustaining injuries.
The attack took place around 11:30 am, catching the locals off guard while they were diligently working on their farms. As the chaos unfolded, the bandits continued their assault, even targeting the fleeing farmers.
Another devastating incident took place on June 16, 2023, in the same Kaduna State region. Suspected bandits struck again, this time killing two biological brothers who were farming in their field at Unguwar Gajere village, Kutemeshi ward, Birnin Gwari local government area.Shockingly, the incident occurred just one day after two farmers were abducted by bandits while working on their farm in Gwanda mai Gyada, another village in the same Kutemeshi ward.
These distressing stories from Birnin Gwari Local Government Area paint a grim reality. The constant fear of being kidnapped by bandits has compelled numerous farmers to abandon their farmland, as they face an ongoing threat to their lives and livelihoods daily
The relentless activities of bandits, who have been terrorizing the area, have instilled a deep sense of fear and insecurity among the farmers.
Our livelihood is under threat…farmers
He emphasized the worsening conditions, saying, “Life has become difficult for them because the situation has deteriorated. We are in a serious problem as we cannot visit our farmlands located just a kilometer from the main town. Anyone who dares to do so is on his own.”
Muhammadu further explained that despite the presence of an Airforce mini base in Birnin Gwari, the bandits continue to brazenly abduct people working on their land even in broad daylight.
“Our source of livelihood is under threat because, as we speak, we cannot visit our farms located less than a kilometer from Birnin Gwari town. Life has become unbearable for us,” Shagari lamented.
He stated that the bandits have already issued a warning to the locals, urging them to avoid going to their farms or face fatal consequences.
The situation is similar in Kajuru, another local government area struggling with insecurity in the state. Yuhana Maigari, a resident of the area, revealed that approximately 30 communities have been displaced by bandits.
According to Maigari, most of the displaced villagers were farmers who are now unable to return to their communities due to fear.
“The situation is terrible because about 30 communities have been displaced in this town, and the majority were farmers since we are an agrarian community.
“These displaced people are currently seeking refuge at Kasuwar Magani and Maraban Kajuru. Consequently, they have abandoned their farmlands, resulting in no farming activities this year,” he said.
He emphasized that if the situation is not effectively addressed, it could lead to food shortages not only in the local government area but also in the entire state.
Ishaq Kasai, the Chairman of the Birnin Gwari Emirates Progressive Union (BEPU), stated that the bandits who are terrorizing the villagers are still located in their camps around Kamuku Forest.
He highlighted that since last Friday, the residents in the Kutemeshi area of the local government have been forced to stay at home because the bandits prevent them from accessing their farmlands.
According to him, the local people are aware of the camp locations, but the security agencies have yet to conduct raids on these camps. This allows the bandits to move freely, abducting and killing the villagers.
He emphasized that if the security agencies proactively engage in fighting the bandits by targeting their camps, the situation could be brought under control.
“It will be difficult to address the situation as long as the bandit camps remain unraided. The locals still spot them in the forest, particularly in Kamuku Forest,” he said.
He explained that the bandits still collect levies from communities within the LGA before allowing the people access to their farmlands those who couldn’t pay are attacked.
According to the State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Mohammed Jalige, the command is diligently working to safeguard the lives of individuals residing in rural communities, particularly farmers.
He emphasized that protecting farmers is of utmost importance to the command since any hindrance to their access to farmlands would adversely affect agricultural production.
“We are making every effort to ensure their protection ” he stated.