The Emir of Wase, His Royal Highness Muhammad Haruna has raised the alarm that terrorists have taken over 50 percent of the landmass in Wase local government area of Plateau State.
He said the people of his domain cannot go to farm and even those that manage to farm, about 70 per cent of their crops are sold out before the next farming season.
Early this year, the chairman of Langtang North local government area Hon. Joshua Laven raised the alarm that bandits had surrounded Langtang North council.
Wase local government area shares boundary with Langtang North LGA. Then the chairman was also accused of raising a false alarm.
But yesterday, the monarch said with the development, Plateau State and by extension, Nigeria, would face a food crisis as insecurity had driven many farmers from their respective farms into the cities where they remain idle.
The first class traditional ruler spoke at the colloquium and fund-raising organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Plateau State Council with the theme: “Tackling food crisis in Nigeria through robust research for sustainable development.”
Alhaji Haruna lamented that the inhabitants of Wase were living in fears as terrorists had overrun half of the town.
He said, “I am a farmer, and the majority of the people in my domain are farmers. Two things I want to mention is the issue of security. A lot of us leave the villages to the cities to look for greener pastures because we cannot afford to go to our farms.
“This is not because we are too lazy to be given fish. If the atmosphere is conducive for us to work on our farms, the number of people in the cities will reduce because they will go back to the villages.
“We want to farm because of the vast land we have which God has blessed us with. There is basically nothing you cannot farm in Wase. Unfortunately, 50 percent of the landmass has been taken over by terrorists. Our people cannot go to the farm. This week a very ugly incident happened in one of the villages in Wase and for the first time, the federal, state and local governments took the right action by deploying soldiers and police to flush out all these people.
“I want to appreciate them for doing the job we have been appealing for years. We are making a special appeal that this should continue so that next year, we will be able to go to the farm. Second, about 70 per cent of food that is produced in Plateau State is sold out before the next planting season. Some people have taken responsibility, they will give you fertiliser and everything you require to farm but the disadvantage is that they take 70 percent of what you produce.
“We are in December, maize in Wase is N28,000 per bag, imagine by April, how much it will cost? That is the food that is considered the poor man’s staple. The one considered the rich man’s food, rice, is N26,000 or N27,000. The kind of problem we are likely to have in Plateau and by extension, Nigeria, if people are hungry during harvest period, imagine the situation that will be in the next few months?”
Earlier, the guest speaker at the occasion, Prof. Dakas Dakas (SAN), a former attorney-general and commissioner for justice, asked academicians, governments and industries to work in synergy to tackle the challenges associated with food insecurity for sustainable development and emphasised that research must be undertaken consciously to address the problem.
Dakas, who is a governorship aspirant in the state, said food insecurity can be tackled if young people were given the tools, skills and opportunities to exhibit their talent.
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