• Friday, December 08, 2023
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Kaduna farmers forced to pay bandits levies for crop harvest

Bandits kill Imam, injure worshippers during morning prayer in Kaduna

Bandits are putting pressure on villagers in Kaduna, forcing them to part with substantial sums before they can even think about harvesting their hard-earned crops.

This plight isn’t limited to just one village; it’s a shared struggle for residents of Kidandan and Galadima villages.

For those in Angular Fala’u and Kerawa villages, life on the farm has become a constant ordeal, marked by harassment and the ever-present threat of kidnapping.

Malam Jamil Kidandan, a resident of Kidandan village, shared the grim details of their daily reality. The burden placed upon the local farmers is staggering, with individuals having to cough up anywhere from N70,000 to N100,000 just for the privilege of harvesting their own produce.

It’s not merely a financial burden; it’s a matter of life and death. Those who dare to resist these extortionate levies face dire consequences, including kidnapping, violence, or the confiscation of their hard-earned farm yields by the ruthless bandits.

This situation has left the affected communities trapped in a cycle of fear and economic uncertainty, with their livelihoods and safety hanging in the balance.

“The bandits’ warlord and his boys stay by the side while a farmer goes to negotiate with him before gaining access to the farm,” he said.

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He expressed deep concern over the repeated atrocities targeting farmers in the Galadimawa region and made an earnest appeal to the federal government and security agencies to step up their efforts in conducting raids on the bandit camps situated around Giwa Local Government Area.

Adding to the grim picture, another resident in the area, who chose to remain anonymous, provided a list of the notorious bandit leaders causing terror in the region.

These warlords include Buhari, his deputy Gana’i, and the third-in-command, known as Kwalameri.

In a similar vein, a community leader named Malam Jafar Anaba, who had been displaced from Anguwar Salahu near Kerawa village, issued a warning about the potential scarcity of food crops in the state if the situation is not addressed urgently.

He lamented that many farmers had abandoned their fields due to the prevailing threat of banditry.

Regrettably, there has been no official response from the state Police Command regarding this distressing situation.

Meanwhile, on a troubling note, a group of bandits staged an invasion of Anguwar Algaita village in the Randagi Ward of Birnin Gwari Local Government Area in Kaduna on Tuesday night.

During the attack, they abducted 12 residents, including women and adults, leaving their families in agonizing uncertainty about the well-being of the victims.

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Wednesday evening, local residents made a grim discovery when they found two lifeless bodies in a nearby bush among those who had been kidnapped by the bandits.

Shehu Randagi, a youth leader in the area, confirmed that these individuals had likely been killed for resisting the bandits’ demands, and a third person was found alive but with a gunshot wound. The injured individual was promptly transported to Birnin Gwari Hospital for urgent medical attention.

With the community still living in fear, Shehu Randagi made a heartfelt plea to both the state and federal governments to come to their aid in this dire situation.

Efforts to contact the state Police Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, have been fruitless, further underscoring the urgent need for action to address this ongoing crisis.