Zamfara Farmers Set To Negotiate With Bandits To Allow Them To Farm

Zamfara Farmers

– Say they have lost N30bn – N50bn on commodities in seven years

Farmers in Zamfara state are set to meet with leaders of bandits in the state to negotiate with them so that they will allow them to farm as well as to offer protection to the thousands of farmers who are ready to farm in this year’s farming season.

This was disclosed by the spokesman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Abdulhafiz Alkali in an interview with newsmen in Gusau at the weekend.

Alkali maintained that they have concluded arrangements to meet with the bandits.

According to him, the present stand of AFAN was informed by the nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government who seemed to have abandoned them to their fate and jettisoned any idea of providing security for farmers.

“What I know about protection with the farmers is just the negotiation between the bandits and the farmers. I am living in Zamfara State now. I know that there will be a meeting by this coming Saturday between the farmers and the bandits.

“We lost a lot of things in Zamfara State. We sent letters to the Federal Government to secure us five years ago after complaining that the bandits were disturbing us.

“We needed the intervention of the Federal Government but it never came. What we lost in the past seven to six years is between N30bn to N50bn on commodities only.

“Many people from different countries and states used to come to the Dansadua axis to buy commodities to the tune of over N50b in a year, but now, in a year, we get less than N2bn to N3bn.

“In Zamfara State, the commodities business was worth over N200bn to N300bn, but these bandits have interrupted the business.

To this end, “We wrote letters, we complained, but up till now, no response from the Federal Government.”

However, when contacted about the development, the State Police command spokesperson, SP Muhammed Shehu remarked they are not aware of the development.

“Am not aware that farmers are meeting bandits. But all I know is that the police in collaboration with the military have taken security measures to save guard farmlands to ensure farmers go to their farmlands and farm without any attack, without any threat from bandits.

“That is why the farmers are currently able to go to their farms. So, we are working tirelessly with other security agencies and vigilantes, he declared.

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