The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is horrified by the killing of 12 farmers in Kalle village, Borno state,North East Nigeria last weekend.
While noting that repeated attack against farmers risk aggravating the food crisis in the country.
In a statement signed by the Media and Communications coordinator ,Chima Onwe, the council called for measures to mitigate the repeated attacks against farmers which may fuel the food crisis in the North Eastern part of the country.
In the same vein,the Norwegian Refuge council area manager, Anja Riiser hinted
that the level of violence registered lately in Northeast Nigeria is alarming.
“Farmers have been easy targets. The. attack risk making people too afraid to cultivate their land and may worsen the existing food crisis.
They should be able to cultivate their land and return to their families alive,”
“The latest attack against farmers underscore the vulnerability of rural communities, even as the authorities are encouraging displaced people to return home to rebuild their lives.”
He explained that there is an urgent need for measures to protect farmers against attacks and looting, so they can safely cultivate their lands and feed their families.
The measures to protect farmers should not translate into a restriction of their movements, he noted.
A Farmer, Haruna Shehu who escaped the attack said, he was on the farm when about 15 armed men surrounded them.
“They took the men to a tree and started slaughtering them like animals. They repeatedly said they will not allow any of us harvest the crops we cultivated this year,” he added.
Another resident of the village, Indagiju Adamu disclosed that at least 1300 persons are reported to have fled after the attack and many have taken refuge at a displacement camp in Maiduguri.
“Families and friends of the slain farmers said they are too scared to return to their farms.
My children and I stood by as they killed my husband. I cried and pleaded for their mercy but they didn’t listen. I will never return to the farm again,”
The attacks on farmers risk worsening the existing food crisis in Northeast Nigeria. It is estimated that 2.9 million people are facing acute food insecurity in the north-eastern states of Adamawa, Yobe, and Borno where violence has been on the rise. Crops have been destroyed and food stores looted, while farmers have either been killed or forced to flee their fields.
Large parts of Borno state may experience emergency levels of food insecurity in the coming months, according to the latest forecast by Famine Early Warning Systems Network.