North East farmers face landmine explosions, kidnapping

Many farmers who returned to communities liberated by the Nigeria Military from the control of insurgents Boko Haram are now faced with the challenge of landmine explosion and kidnapping.

Boko Haram fighters

Five farmers were reported to have been killed by landmine in an effort to cultivate their farm land after they returned to the liberated communities in Borno State.

Even though the Nigeria military had earlier delayed the process of returning locals to communities liberated from the control of insurgents Boko Haram in other to carry out exercises that will see the clearing of the explosive buried, some residents say they are still face with the challenge of kidnapping and landmine explosions in the farms.

"Myself and mother have stop going to the bush for farming," a resident in a suburb of Biu, Jacob Hannaniya said.

He told Pulse that many of his people have been kidnapped by the Boko Haram members in farms and killed.

"With what is happening, a lot of us have been advised by the Borno State government not to farm in far bushes. There are landmines buried by the insurgents which have been killing people.  Again, for farms that are free from these landmine, one stands the risk of been kidnapped and killed if you travel," Jacob said.

The displaced persons are finding it difficult to regain pre-conflict way of living because of the poor living condition.

Most of the residents are said to be faced with the rigors of long journeys, psychological trauma, and safety challenge, frequent sexual abuse, children molestation, forced labour and poor sanitation.

According to some disaster managers, the incidences have exposed locals to infectious diseases.

"The bush that we used to go and farm, we cannot longer go there because of some security reports from the government," a resident of Maiduguri, Musa Bulama said.

"The insurgents find themselves hiding in these bushes before launching the attacks in the towns .So, even though farming have not commenced in our area, the state government and community leaders have advised farmers not to be going to the farms because of security reasons," he told Pulse.

"Many farms are far from the city centres. These are places with serious security risk. Still up to now, in our area here, farming is yet to commence. But for people that farm last year, they did not move beyond the houses they stay," Bala Mustapha told Pulse.

"Many of the people that are been kidnapped are not released free neither through ransom. They are summarily killed," Bala added.

"If you go to Bama area, Konduga area, Damboa and other places, you will discover that even groundnut that people used to buy and use for one thing of the other, the prices have increase."

"A measure of a ground nut in the market now has become something else. There is eminent hunger in the future because residents cannot approach farms," Samson Ayuba said.

He said people from villages who cannot go to their farms are coming to the city to sell some available goods just to take care of their family members.

"A lot of returnees in some Borno communities have sold what they have to buy tricycles for transport businesses. Others are now renting shops for other businesses like selling second hand cloths and other things. Some of them travel to Jos in Plateau state, North Central Nigeria to buy second hand cloths and sell to residents in Borno State."

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