Gunmen from Niger, Mali, Libya collecting tax from Nigerian farmers — Rep raises the alarm
A member of the House of Representatives representing Tangaza/Gudu Federal Constituency of Sokoto State, Sani Yakubu, has raised alarm, saying jihadists from Niger, Mali and Libya and the local bandits operating in Tangaza Local Government of the state have imposed a tax on farmers in the area.
Yakubu, who disclosed this while presenting a motion at plenary yesterday, said Tangaza/Gudu Federal Constituency was surrounded by two forests; Tsauna Forest that stretches over to Gwadabawa, Illela and Niger Republic and Kuyan Bana Forest which also stretches to Gudu and Niger Republic.
Revealing that the terrorists within the areas had joined forces, Yakubu said they had apparently vowed to make life difficult for the people who are predominantly farmers.
He said: “The two forests house two terrorist groups, the Lakurawa who claimed to be jihadists from Niger, Mali and Libya and the local bandits terrorising the area.
“The two used to be sworn enemies, but have now joined forces, making it more difficult for the deployed security operatives to address the insecurity in the general area.
“After the deadly act, the terrorist launched another attack to prevent people from giving their loved ones a befitting burial.
“The people of the area are predominantly farmers and cattle rearers and terrorists have vowed to stop this year’s farming activities, if the communities refuse to pay tax.
‘’If this threat is allowed, it will seriously affect the national food security if adequate measures are not put in place.”
Adopting the motion, the House urged the military to deploy more personnel and hardwares to comb the forests to flush out the criminals. It further asked the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to provide relief materials to victims of the unfortunate attack.
Also speaking on the issue yesterday, the member representing Ideato South and North seat federal constituency of Imo State, Ikenga Ikeagwuonu Ugochinyere, said it was worrisome to have terrorists from the neighbouring African countries imposing taxes on Nigerian farmers.
Ugochinyere said the development was tantamount to a threat to the sovereignty of Nigeria.
He, however, expressed optimism that the current administration by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would flush the criminals out.
“It’s worrisome and it threatens our sovereignty as a nation. Just as the House resolved, it requires urgent attention.
‘’Our security agencies need to re-strategize to flush out criminals and terrorists. With the resolve and commitment of the present administration, I have no doubt that soon, they will be defeated,” he said.