From Esther Akaa, Lafia
A group of farmers in Nasarawa State, United Farmers’ Association Kadarko (UFAK) has appealed to the state government for the inclusion of Internally Displaced Persons ( IDPs) on the list of beneficiaries of the Federal Government palliatives in Keana and Obi Local Government Areas ( LGA) of the state.
This was contained in a press statement issued and signed by the Chairman of UFAK, Mr. Dennis Denen Utsa and Secretary Ayuba Thomas Bako and made available to journalists in Lafia on Wednesday.
According to the statement, over 9,000 IDPs who have been displaced in both Keana and Obi LGAs were excluded from benefiting from the Federal Government palliatives by the local Government Chairmen of the areas.
The statement drew the both the attention of the federal and state governments to the attacks and killing of innocent farmers as well as destruction of crops burning of houses, confiscation of lands, rape of farmers in the area without adequate measures taken to protect them.
The statement said:”Indigent vulnerable farmers have continuously been slaughtered or killed in their houses like animals by Buzzaye terrorists disguised as herders on daily basis within and around Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
“Between 2011 and 2023 over 1,700 farmers had been killed, from the aforementioned villages, about 30,000 households were internally displaced, and forcefully, ejected from theie places of abode.
“Buildings had also been burnt down and vandalised and these vulnerable children, women and men are marginalised, abandoned and discriminated against by the state for reasons bet known to the state authorities concerned, neither the Nasarawa State Government nor humanitarian organisations has visited the farmers for supports. These farmers have no other means of economic sustenance except farming and wish to go back co their ancestry homes, but are still living in fear of the unknown While at various IDPs camps, their farm lands had been occupied and taken-over by the ’ wicked and heartless terrorists.
“Also the Police Anti-Terrorists Squad connived with the Federal Road Safety Corps personnel to quit or eject out these IDPs from their camps in Kadarko and has occupied, leaving the farmers on street in the state scavenging.
“In order to reduce their hardship, we secured buildings for the IDPs lodges within -Kadarko and environs but the said terrorist gangs having invaded all their villages/communities later traced one of the IDPs lodge located at Satkin-Noma (an Eggon Community in Kadarko Chiefdom) and burnt down, the IDPs lost properties including farm produce worth over Ten Million Naira only (N10,000,000.00).
“The case was reported to Commissioner of Police in Nasarawa State and the Police at State CID Lafia arrested some of the suspects, listed below: Alhaji Bagaye, Yakinda Babaje, Alhaji Yusuf, Alhaji Ibrahim, Alhaji Musa, Kabiru Yusuf, Alhaji Shodo Ardo Alhaji Mano, Umaru Yusuf and the suspects admitted committing the crime and agreed to pay the sum of Two Million, One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira Only (N 2,150,000.00) as compensation for the destruction, the Police later aborted the investigation without considering the previous damages done by the same suspects.”
The statement therefore appealed to the state government to return the IDPs back their ancestral homes and protect their property.
“The government should also provide relief assistance to the IDPs in order to ease their suffering as well as rebuild the houses of the vulnerable IDPs an provide them with basic social amenities,” the statement added.
It concluded by urging the Federal Government to beef up security around the farming communities to prevent the killer herders from invading and destroying farm lands.