Banditry: Irrigation farmers in Taraba afraid to go to farm | Dailytrust

Banditry: Irrigation farmers in Taraba afraid to go to farm

File photo
File photo

Irrigation farmers in Gassol and Karim-Lamido have raised alarm over the activities of bandits, which they said has threatened farming activities. 

Farmers in separate interviews with North East Trust said bandits have taken over the forests in the area and are kidnapping people every night. 

One of the farmers, Mallam Yakubu Binnari  said in parts of Karim-Lamido, the bandits believed to have crossed into Taraba from Zamfara and Katsina States, have invaded several communities. 

He said it took the combined efforts of the army, police and vigilante to deal with the invading bandits that disguised as herdsmen. 

Yakubu Bannari explained that the bandits have now settled at the border areas between Taraba, Plateau and Bauchi States and are kidnapping people day and night. 

Another farmer, Haruna Bello also raised the alarm that hundreds of suspected bandits have crossed into Gassol area with their herds of cattle and camels. 

He said some of the suspected bandits look like foreigners and soon after their arrival, incidents of kidnapping had increased. 

Bello said villagers who are mainly farmers have relocated out of their villages because of the increasing cases of kidnapping. 

He revealed that within the last few weeks, more than 30 people were abducted including four persons abducted while praying in a mosque in Tella town. 

Another farmer, Engineer Yahaya Mafindi, told North East Trust that for the past seven years, he and other farmers have been  practisingdry season farming but with activities of bandits, people are afraid to go to their farms and it will affect rice production this season. 

“My junior brother now takes charge of my dry season farm at Sheka Irrigation Farm because l am afraid of kidnappers,” he said. 

He called on the government to be alert on the movement of bandits from Zamfara and Katsina States  into the state. 

A farmer in Sansani also alerted that suspected bandits have taken over the forest in the area and they are abducting innocent people for ransom. 

“ If care is not taken, Gassol and Karim-Lamido Local Government Areas will become another zone controlled by bandits. So far, the bandits under the guise of herdsmen have destroyed several rice farms and kidnapped many people and even raped some women” he said. 

The spokesperson for the Taraba Police Command, DSP Usman Abdullahi said the Commissioner of Police had recently toured part of Gassol Local Government Area and met with traditional rulers, key stakeholders and members of the vigilante on security measures. 

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