The Farmers in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State is said to have agreed to pay a huge amount of money imposed on them by bandits in order to have access to their farmlands.
According to Ishaq Usman Kasai, Chairman Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressives Union (Union), bandits imposed multi-million naira tax on the vulnerable farmers.
In a statement, he said the farmers resorted to negotiating with the bandits because they were helpless.
However, He said farming activities had since been crippled in Birnin-Gwari. As about 70 percent of farmlands have been inaccessible by farmers in the last three years.
“In many Communities, farmers paid millions of Naira before they were allowed to access their farmlands.”
“Some of the agreements reached at the negotiations on the side of the farmers include allowing the farmers to access their farmlands without kidnapping or any form of intimidation by the bandits while the bandits should be allowed to be coming to towns and villages where the peace deals were entered for healthcare, buying and selling as well as any other normal business,” he said.
He further explained that the negotiations allowed the farmers that were sacked by the bandits in communities such as Katakaki, Ganda, Mashigi, Ginsa, Biskin, Layin Mai-Gwari, Kwasa-Kwasa and many others access their farmlands.
BEPU added that many bandits have farms in those Communities, adding that the notorious warlord, Dogo Kachalla Gide, has farms in Mashigi area.
Kasai said the bandits had suspended kidnappings and attacks in some communities but they have continued to snatch motorcycles and other valuables from farmers.
He called on the state government to adopt any measure it finds suitable to prevent terrorists from spearheading anarchy in Birnin-Gwari and environs.
Contacted, the State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, neither answered calls nor replied a text message sent.
But Police Public Relations Officer in Kaduna, DSP Mohammed Jalige, said he would find out details from the Area command.
He also asked the people of the area to always provide information to security agencies.