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Peace & Security

Insurgents kill six more farmers and abduct two others in Gwoza district of Borno State

14 September 2023
Reading time: 4 minutes

Emir of Gwoza says people gathered at his palace not to protest but rather to show their sympathy for him and the relatives of murdered and abducted farmers.

Six farmers were murdered and two abducted by insurgents on Saturday, September 9, in the Gwoza Local Government Area in Borno State.
Residents of Gwoza said the targeted attacks on farmers was extremely worrying because that was how 90% of the town’s people made a living.

Residents were so concerned about the escalating violence that they gathered at the palace of the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Mohammed Shehu Timta, to show empathy and to sympathise with the Emir and the families of those who were killed and abducted.

They called on the Emir to urge the government to beef up security in the town to protect their lives and property.

Adamu Buba Ndurwa, a resident of Gwoza and the president of the National Union of Gwoza Students, said that both the federal and state governments needed to double their efforts and prioritise the security of the people, particularly farmers, by taking all necessary measures to put an end the killings and abductions of innocent people.

“The incident that occurred last Saturday is extremely worrisome and shocking. Six more of our farmers are dead. We don’t know if the two other farmers are dead or alive. They were abducted and that’s all we know at this stage. There have been too many murders and abductions by insurgents in this area. This is an urgent matter that is affecting all our lives. The government must take a hard stand and do something to help Gwoza residents.”

Musa Ayuba, a resident of Gwoza, told RNI that many people in the town had been abducted and murdered by insurgents.

“Farmers living in the mountains above the town seem to be the main targets. We went to the Emir’s palace not to protest but rather to inform him about the escalating security issues.

“I used to be a farmer but because of the insecurity, I decided to stop all farming activities. It is extremely frightening. You never know if you will be the next farmer to die or to be abducted. I stopped farming out of fear,” he said.

“About 90% of people living in Gwoza town depend solely on agribussiness or farming activities to make a living. But now most of the farmers are too scared to go to their lands because they know there is a good chance that they will be killed or abducted by insurgents.”

He urged the government to strengthen security measures in the nearby forests, especially during the rainy season, so that people working the land could continue their seasonal farming activities peacefully.

“That is the only way to ensure massive food production and food security not only in Gwoza town but also in Nigeria as a whole.”

Hamman Umaru Abba, who also lives in Gwoza, told RNI that insurgents were terrorising people, particularly farmers, by killing and kidnapping them on their lands.

“Most of the people living here are farmers. But now they are too afraid to go to their lands. The government needs to increase security to protect us.”
Timta, meanwhile, told journalists in Maiduguri on Tuesday that the people who had gathered at his palace were not protesting as some reports alleged.
“It is not true that residents protested at my palace. The truth of the matter is that last Saturday while I was in Maiduguri, I received a distress call informing me that insurgents had killed five of my people on their farmlands and had abducted three others.

“We quickly returned to Gwoza with some heads of security agencies in the convoy and when my subjects learnt that I was back home, some rushed to my palace and paid condolence visits.

“Some publications claimed that hundreds of aggrieved residents had invaded my palace in protest against renewed killings of farmers. That is not true.”
The Emir said he was horrified to hear that five farmers had been killed on their lands.

He was even more concerned that three more farmers had been abducted, one of whom had been killed by insurgents. He said the whereabouts of the two other farmers was not known.

Timta said the murders and abductions were “regrettable and condemnable”.
He said he was grateful to those who had gathered at the palace to empathise and send condolences to the victims’ families.

“I want to add that Gwoza town and its environs are peaceful and residents are going about their normal businesses,” he said.


Keywords: #Borno

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