Farmers in Ikole-Ekiti, Ikole Local Government Area, Ekiti, have appealed to Governor Kayode Fayemi to empower hunters with logistics to help curb banditry and kidnapping in their communities.
Some of the farmers made this appeal in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ikole-Ekiti on Friday.
They said unknown people invade their farms to harvest, destroy their food crops, kill and kidnap workers in their farms.
One of the farmers, Adekunle Odegbami, said ”God has been protecting me on several occasions from being kidnapped and killed by unknown gunmen in my farm.
“Nobody is safe to stay alone in our huts or farms, whether in the morning or afternoon.
“I want to appeal to Gov. Kayode Fayemi to empower local hunters with logistics and permit them to arrest kidnappers tormenting our communities.
“Ikole-Ekiti is a very big town and without putting concrete security network in place at the grassroots, government will not be able to curb kidnapping in the communities.
“The local hunters are familiar with the forest terrain and possible ways to arrest unknown gunmen disturbing the peace of our communities,” he said
Another farmer, Foluso Ajayi, said hunters in the communities were ready to join forces with the security agencies including Amotekun Corps, but had limited backing of the state government.
He said that if the state government could empower the hunters, the security of the lives of residents in the communities would be sustained.
”Most of our hunters are fortified spiritually to curb kidnapping but they were not permitted to interfere with the insecurity of the communities.
”I am appealing to the state government to give priority to the safety of the citizens at the grassroots and curb crimes in the communities,” he said.
Adebayo Ogundele, a farmer, also said the state government should allow the communities to set up security teams that would fight kidnapping, banditry, and armed robbery.
He noted that in spite of the number of kidnappers arrested by security agencies in the communities, some unknown men were still indulging in the wicked act.
“The state government should consider the plights of farmers in Ikole-Ekiti communities, who were always at risk of being kidnapped in their lonely farms,” he said.
Another farmer, Godwin Ojo, said the security agencies, Nigeria Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Amotekun corps could not fight against kidnapping alone without the help of local hunters.
“The major reason why I am advocating for the recruitment of hunters is because they are spiritually knowledgeable to find a lasting solution to kidnapping in our communities.
“For example, I have a friend who is a hunter, he has a farm very close to the forest area, whenever anybody enters his farm to harvest anything, he can easily see the person without leaving his house.
“We have many good hunters who are spiritually fortified to handle cases of kidnapping if they are empowered by the state government,” he said.
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