There seems to be no respite to the heightening security situation in Nasarawa State, as suspected herdsmen are alleged to be terrorising farmers from harvesting their farm produce back home.
The situation, which is said to be alarming, specifically across six local governments, namely: Nasarawa, Doma, Akwanga, Keana, Obi and Awe, has been a nightmare for the farmers and the state government.
At this time of the year, BusinessDay gathered that, farmers who invested in the production of yam, beneseed, and rice, have begun harvesting their farm crops, with suspected herders said to have been hindering them cultivating their produce.
Food crisis, hike in prices looms, as Karu, Keffi witnessing influx of strange faces
If nothing is done to mitigate the rising attacks on farmers, there might possibly be looming scarcity or insufficient food, hike in food prices and hunger, as the year wines up to 2024.
Governor Abdullahi Sule, who conveyed an expanded security meeting over the cases of insecurity in the state, revealed that, Keffi and Karu local governments, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have continued to experience influx of strange faces, suspected to be gangs of terrorist.
The expanded meeting, which was aimed at addressing security concerns, had heads of security outfits, traditional rulers, heads of tertiary institutions in the state and Chairmen of affected local governments.
Aside from fostering collaborative efforts for the safety of lives and properties, the meeting shared insights and proposed innovative strategies to combat security challenges in the state.
Governor Sule said, government was going to mobilize resources and to assemble expertise, as a measure for comprehensive and inclusive approach, to tackling security challenges in the state, hence the expanded meeting with key stakeholders.
The governor said, part of the reasons for convening the expanded security meeting was to deliberate on the unfolding regular attacks on farmers by suspected herders, with such attacks recorded in six local government areas namely Nasarawa, Doma, Akwanga, Keana, Obi and Awe.
He also raised the alarm over the influx of strange faces that is already generating tension particularly around Keffi Local Government Area.
“There is also, from what we have been able to gather, some level of influx of certain strangers that generate tension, especially around Keffi Local Government Area.
“And we also had the opportunity to discover some criminal hideouts as riverside in Karu Local Government Area.
“We are also able to have information on the lodging of some suspected drug peddlers in certain hotels, as well as what they call sleeper cell in Nasarawa, Taraba, Kaduna, created by terrorist gangs,” Governor Sule added.
The Governor, however expressed willingness to fall back on the working relationship with traditional rulers towards ensuring security at the grassroots.
“Part of the reasons for this meeting is to appeal to traditional rulers to resume the engagement of the local vigilante groups like they did in the past, which has yielded positive results.
“We have relaxed on that, mostly on the part of government. We are going back to engage all those security groups to work with our people and security operatives,” he said.
Sule, then commend security agencies operating in the state for maintaining peace, law, and order during this difficult period, and the efforts put in place towards the rescue operations of several kidnapped victims in the state.