Bandits in some communities in Niger State have demanded that farmers pay some levies before harvesting their crops.
The bandits reportedly threatened to attack the farmers or destroy their crops if they failed to pay the levies.
The state government has called on the farmers and communities not to comply with such directives and demands.
Commissioner for Local Governments, Chieftaincy Affairs and Internal Security, Emmanuel Umar, said the state government will protect the farmers.
“The bandits want farmers to pay some levies to access their farms. It is criminal. We call on every farmer not to comply with this directive. No farmer should comply with this, they should not give space to the criminals to change their lifestyle,” he said.
“We are aware that God has blessed our farmers with bumper harvest this cropping season and Government is determined to support them. There will be resilient security around them and we will ensure that these criminals do not have a space in our communities.”
“We all need to fight this. It is not a government or police fight alone. All hands must be on deck to fight this.”