Four farmers were reportedly killed, recently, at Wuya village, in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State, as the farmers in the state begin cultivation for this year’s planting season.
The farmers have ignored warning by armed bandits in the state to stay away from their farms.
The dare devil bandits issued the warning, through letters, asking farmers in the state to stay away from their farmlands or face dire consequences.
The farmers killed in Wuya village were said to be clearing their farmlands when the bandits attacked them.
The killings were seen by many as an indication that the bandits were determined to carry out their threats.
However, in most of the villages visited by this reporter, many farmers had started planting on their lands while many others were engaged in other farming activities such as ridge making and so on.
Some of the farmers, who spoke to Daily Trust, said they would rather be killed by the bandits than to starve death at home.
“We can’t stop going to our farms,” a middle-aged farmer at Kawaye village, Murtala Yusuf, said.
“Let us be killed, but we won’t die of starvation. If they stop us cultivating our land, what will we do for a living? I was born and brought up in a typical rural community. Farming is our major business here and we will never abandon it for anything.
“There was a time some of these hoodlums met me working on my land. They only asked me for a drinking water and I gave them what I had in a gallon and they went away with it. They didn’t harm me.”
Another farmer, Musa Usman, who was seen alongside his sons working on their farmland at Bawar Daji village, said: “These criminals strike at will. Sometimes, if we go to the farm and notice a suspicious movement, we either stop the work and run back home or climb trees to take cover. We are not taking things for granted here. But they can’t stop us cultivating our farms.”
He called on the government to take drastic action against the rampaging bandits that have made life in the rural communities in the state unbearable, saying that food shortage was imminent unless something was done to arrest the situation.