Bandits have taken over Wase, says Emir
The Emir of Wase, Muhammad Haruna on Thursday said Plateau state and Nigeria, risk food crisis as insecurity perpetuated by bandits which has driven many farmers from their farms into the city where they remain idle.
The Emir raised the alarm that terrorists have taken over 50 per cent of the landmass in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State and the people cannot go to the farm and even those that manage to farm; about 70 per cent of their produce is sold out before the next farming season.
The monarch disclosed in Jos at the colloquium and fundraising 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,” lamented that the inhabitants of Wase are now living in fears as terrorists have overrun half of the town in the ancient city of Wase.
He said, “I am a farmer, and the majority of the people in my domain are farmers. As a result of insecurity, a lot of us leave the villages for the city to look for greener pastures because we cannot afford to go to our farms.
“Some people have taken responsibility, they will give you fertiliser and everything you require to farm but the disadvantage is that they take 70 per cent of what you produce.
“We are in December; maize in Wase is N28, 000 per bag. Imagine by April, how much it will cost. The one considered the rich man’s food, rice is N26, 000 or N27, 000. The kinds of problems we are likely to have in Plateau and by extension, Nigeria, if people are hungry during the harvest period, imagine the situation that will be the next few months.”
The Guest Speaker at the event, Prof. Dakas Dakas (SAN), a former Attorney-General who spoke on the theme maintained that academicians, governments and industries must work in synergy in order to tackle challenges associated with food insecurity for sustainable development and emphasised that research must be undertaken consciously to tackle food insecurity.
He said: “Research must drive development. If your research does not attract development, it has not achieved the aim of the research which is proffering solutions to problems and research must be taken seriously if food security is to be achieved.”
Dakas explained that food insecurity can be tackled if young people are given the tools, skills and opportunities to showcase their potential.