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Bandits burn farms in Niger, impose levies, drop contact number

Suspected bandits have burnt down over 20 maize, soya bean and guinea corn farms on the outskirts of Kontagora, headquarters of Kontagora LGA of Niger…

Suspected bandits have burnt down over 20 maize, soya bean and guinea corn farms on the outskirts of Kontagora, headquarters of Kontagora LGA of Niger State.

One of the affected farmers confirmed to City & Crime on telephone that the bandits also dropped notes for them on their various farms asking them to pay N30m levy each or face further attacks.

He said he had not called the number but that those who called the number told him that the speakers confirmed to them that they burnt the crops they had assembled on their farms and threatened to deal with them more if they failed to pay the imposed levy.

The farmer, who didn’t want his name published due to threats, appealed to the federal and state governments to find a way of addressing the incessant attacks on farmers.

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He said, “We just woke up today to this sad incident. We went to our farms where we assembled our crops that were due for harvest. We were almost done with the assembling before bringing them home, only for the crops to be set ablaze.

“And notices in Arabic with a phone number were hung in our respective farms asking us to pay N30m levy each.

“Of the farms that were burnt down, there is one where you could not have less than 50 bags of maize if harvested. There was another one of soybean. The owner would not get less than 60 bags if harvested. In my own farm, there were guinea corn and beans that I had assembled for processing before bringing them home. All of them were set ablaze.”

Some residents of Kontagora told our correspondent that the incident had created tension, saying that people were afraid of going to their farms.

There was no response from security operatives on the incident.

 

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