Militants from the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād have banned transportation of farm produce with trucks in Bana, Kwapaena, Unguwan Madaki, Koppa and Kurebe communities in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.
According to FIJ, the jihadists also collect levies to grant farmers access to their farms.
“They would extort millions of naira from us with an agreement that they would not encroach on our farms again but they would come back. This always comes when the farmers want to cultivate.
“They would divide our farm produce and give us little to take home. Let us say out of 100 bags of maize, the gun-wielding fighters may decide to give the owner 20 bags after strenuous negotiations,” a source disclosed.
The terrorists, who were against the use of trucks to transport farm produce, called it greed.
“Don’t be greedy. Come with your motorcycles, not a four-wheel vehicle to get the portion of your crops,” some villagers quoted the criminals to have said.
A resident of Bana said the terrorists’ statement is law. “We dare not go to our farms with a lorry for cultivation,” he said.
The state governor, Abubakar Bello, in statement on Thursday said the situation could trigger food scarcity.
“The worrisome part of the security challenges is the inability of the farmers to harvest their farm produce, which may likely trigger food scarcity in the state. We are worried by the nefarious activities of these terrorists. Desperation has been noticed among them as a result of the onslaught of security agents, which has made them target unsuspecting rural inhabitants.,” the governor had said.