The apex body of farmers in the country, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN has called on the 19 Northern States and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, to join hands to contribute N100 billion to fight insecurity plaguing the region.
The call was made in a statement signed by the National President, AFAN, Arc Ibrahim Kabir, where the association expressed worry and lamented the pain the current state of insecurity has caused farmers and their business including killing of AFAN members on daily basis.
The statement pointed that the reign of terror in the north has resulted in reduction of sustainable food sufficiency, thereby impeding on attainment of food security in spite of several intervention programmes reeled out by State and Federal Governments.
The statement also made it clear that the drive to diversify the economy and attract investors through agriculture and agribusiness, which also agricultural activities are domiciled in the States, there is the need for both Federal and State Governments to spearhead creation of an enabling environment through giving policy direction and encouraging stakeholder buy-in, but with these realities it is very clear that the States have a very important role to play in bringing about Food Security to Nigeria but only if the security of life and property is guaranteed or assured.
The statement reads in part, “Of course, the states are not directly in charge of National security and the direct management of the security apparatus comprising the Police, Army and Civil Defence as well as several other institutions but the State Governors of the various States are the Chief security officers in their various states so if they jointly and collectively pursue the issue of insecurity more impact will be made.
“While the call I am making is to the State Governments of the North, it is imperative that the various state governments of Southern Nigeria also key into the drive for the restoration of security in order to ensure the attainment of sustainable National Food Security in Nigeria.
“The suggestions to the state governments are enunciated hereto but the list is by no means exhaustive: All efforts by all the state governments in the North to stem insecurity should coalesce under one umbrella to be called; Northern Nigeria Security Initiative (NNSI)under the Chairmanship of the chairman of the Northern Governors’ forum assisted by a team headed by a Director General who knows what to do!
“Each of the 19 States including the FCT should contribute 1,000,000,000, (one billion Naira only) each sustainably to a common pool beginning 31st April,2022 thereby pulling a large resource base at the end of December, 2022.
“The NDLEA should partner with each of the 19 state governments and FCT to proactively fight drug use and trafficking by impounding and destroying identified drug peddling enclaves or dens of drug dealers as well as abusers.”
However, AFAN also called for defoliation of forest hideouts created by the terrorists.
“All the forests which now apparently provide safe-heaven to bandits and marauders should be combed, defoliated and in some cases sectorially bulldozed as well as immediately converted into cultivable as well as irrigable land forthwith.
“Regular Town hall meetings in all villages and hamlets under the direct supervision of traditional rulers should be convened contiguously all over the North with a view to sensitizing everybody to the impending disaster facing the possible continued existence of the entire North and the whole country at large.
“These suggestions and many more should be promptly pursued to mitigate the current tide of insecurity before the exit of the Buhari administration to avert the total collapse of our food system and the whole Country, God forbid”, it concluded.