By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As criminal activities of bandits continue to escalate in North West and North East regions of the country, the National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, Wednesday, called for the defoliation of forests used as hideouts by bandits.
Ibraham made the assertion in a chat with Vanguard while speaking on the negative effects banditry has impacted on farmers’ productivity and food availability, accessibility, and affordability.
He lamented that smallholder farmers, especially those who have to feed the nation over the years are left to their fate as the attacks, apprehension, and agitation continue to hold farmers hostage.
According to him government at the state and federal levels should collaborate and bulldoze these forest hideouts that are used by criminal elements overtime to perpetuate their nefarious activities.
He added that this will make it easier for government security agents to track bandits down and drastically reduce current killings and kidnappings suffered by innocent Nigerians.
He also maintained that “I still subscribe to the dictum that the forests provide a safe haven to the bandits and so should be defoliated and sectorally bulldozed.
“I am not going to lazily blame anyone for the incessant banditry in Nigeria at this point without proof.
“I recommend the complete decimation of these criminals first and foremost.”
However, the AFAN boss said he would not be part of those who have been insinuating and alleging that there are external sponsors of banditry to destabilize Nigeria’s economy in order for economies of neighbouring countries to flourish since Nigeria’s population is a threat to them and being the largest market in Africa.
He also added that bandits arrested so far have not mentioned any sponsors outside the country as being responsible for their activities, rather government should do the needful to crush them.
“Without resorting to any blame game unless some arrested and interrogated among them (bandits) point to anyone encouraging them to engage in the dastardly act”, he added.
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