By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA—The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, yesterday called on the 19 northern states and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, to contribute N100 billion to fight insecurity plaguing the region.

In a statement signed by the National President, AFAN,  Ibrahim Kabir, the group lamented the pain the current state of insecurity in the country has caused farmers and their businesses on daily basis.

The statement read:  “Of course, the states are not directly in charge of national security and the direct management of the security apparatus comprising the Police, Army and Civil Defence as well as several other institutions but the state governors of the various states are the chief security officers in their states. So, if they jointly and collectively pursue the issue of insecurity, more impact will be made.

Why we want southern states to join in fight

“While the call I am making is to the state governments of the North, it is imperative that the various state governments of Southern Nigeria also key into the drive for the restoration of security in order to ensure the attainment of sustainable National Food Security in Nigeria.

“The suggestions to the state governments are enunciated hereto but the list is by no means exhaustive: All efforts by all the state governments in the north to stem insecurity should coalesce under one umbrella to be called Northern Nigeria Security Initiative, NNSI, under the chairmanship of the chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, assisted by a team headed by a director-general who knows what to do.

“Each of the 19 states and the FCT should contribute N1 billion each sustainably to a common pool, beginning April 31, 2022, thereby pulling a large resource base at the end of December, 2022.

“The CBN should intervene with the sum of N1 trillion within the same period.  A critical mass of 2,000 young able-bodied youth to be paid an honorarium of N20,000 monthly from each of the 19 northern states and probably FCT, should be recruited to form a ‘vigilante group’ to keep the peace among their recalcitrant peers but through ‘non-kinetic’ means.

“The NDLEA should partner each of the 19 state governments and FCT to proactively fight drug use and trafficking by impounding and destroying identified drug peddling enclaves or dens of drug dealers as well as abusers.”

Immediate defoliation of forest hideouts

Also calling for the defoliation of forest hideouts created by the terrorists, AFAN stated:  “All the forests, which now apparently provide safe-heaven to bandits and marauders should be combed, defoliated and in some cases, sectorally bulldozed as well as immediately converted into cultivable as well as irrigable land forthwith.

“Regular town hall meetings in all villages and hamlets under the direct supervision of our revered traditional rulers should be convened contiguously all over the north, with a view to sensitising everybody to the impending disaster facing the possible continued existence of the entire north and the whole country at large.”

“These suggestions and many more should be promptly pursued to mitigate the current tide of insecurity before the exit of the Buhari administration to avert the total collapse of our food system and the whole country.’’

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