The Nigerian Governors’ Forum has deescribed the killings of rice farmers in Borno State as a sad narrative that raises serious questions on the general security situation in the country and around the capability of the nation’s security architecture.
NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, in a statement yesterday, described the incident as “obnoxious, wicked, unwarranted and morally reprehensible”.
He said the killing of over 40 rice farmers in Garin Kwashebe in Jere, Borno State, by suspected Boko Haram terrorists brought back “ugly memories of several dastardly attacks on soft targets in the state.”
He said it also raised questions on whether or not there were adequate arrangements to protect lives and property.
“Since insurgency engulfed the country more than a decade ago, each time it seems like the situation is coming under control, the enemy strikes again. This has happened consistently,” he added.
He said the forum would “collectively review these issues” at its next meeting to forge the way forward.
He said: “The farmers were attacked while harvesting their produce totally oblivious of the danger that awaits them in nearby bushes. This method is consistent with the senseless bombings of busy markets, bus stations, schools and abattoirs whenever the terrorists feel overpowered by the security operatives or feel their backs against the wall.
“Governors are concerned that the carnage is degenerating beyond explicable limits, yet again, and the catalogue of destruction is not only seeming to be endless and intractable but it has an adverse effect on everything in the state and the country at large.”
Also, the Northern Governors Forum has described the killings of rice farmers.
The chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, yesterday said the entire country was deeply saddened over the killings of the innocent rice farmers who committed no crime except to go to the farm to earn their living.
Lalong said the incident was a great setback to the efforts of Nigeria to attain domestic sufficiency in rice production as well as food security.