Residents in Miga Local Government Area of Jigawa State on Tuesday raised the alarm that ‘strange herders’ were flocking into the community and allegedly ‘destroying’ farm produce.
The local government secretary, Kawu Magaji, told reporters that the armed herders have already ”destroyed 18 rice and guinea corn farms” as they were allowing their cattle to graze around people’s farms and daring the farm owners to approach them.
Magaji attributed the influx of these herders to a recent violent clash between farmers and herders in Hadejia axis. He said the displaced herders had returned to Miga communities ”where there is more fertile soil suitable for grazing.”
He added residents and farmers are now living in constant fear over the influx of these herders, some of who are believed to have come from Niger Republic.
”The security officials are in the area to curtail a possible loss of lives. The aggrieved farmers were asked to stay away and allow the security personnel and local government officials to address the issue,” Mr Magaji said.
The district head of Miga, Muhammad Garba, confirmed the terrifying influx, saying ”people are panicking because of the massive and unusual movement of herders grazing around farmlands”.
He said ”the herders came at a time when the farmers are yet to harvest their farm produce. Their number is what is making people fear. They came in hundreds, also well-armed”.
”The people in the affected areas are living in fear as they watch the herders destroy their farm produce. It is unfortunate that they came early this time when farmers are yet to harvest their farm produce,” he added.
He said a ‘farmers and herders committee’ is working to address the crisis.
”Also, as I’m speaking to you now, security personnel, including soldiers, are on the ground,” he explained.
The police are yet to comment on the development although Premium Times reports that when contacted, the police spokesperson in Jigawa, Audu Jinjiri, said he was yet to be briefed on the incident.