Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman/FitilaOnline

President Muhammadu Buhari’s agriculture sector initiatives may yield no success if the insecurity ravaging Nigeria’s northwest persists, the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman suggests, Concise News reports.

According to Daily Trust, the Emir told the Minister for Agriculture, Audu Ogbe, on Monday that farmers and herdsmen who are the target beneficiaries of government initiatives had abandoned their farms and herds as killings and kidnappings spiral in the region, which includes Katsina, President Buhari’s home state.

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Ogbe was in the Katsina palace, alongside the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, ahead of the national launch of the distribution of cotton seeds/inputs to farmers for the 2019 planting season, the newspaper reports.

But the Emir seized the moment to lament the level of insecurity in the region, which appears to have deteriorated as bandits continue to kidnap and kill from Abuja-Kaduna highway to rural communities across the northwest.

There are no reliable statistics on the incidents but Punch newspaper reported that 41 persons were killed last week in Zamfara State alone and reports of kidnappings and killings in other states, including Kaduna, feature in the dailies almost every day.

“Every day I receive reports of kidnapping and killings from the district and village heads,” the Emir said, as reported by Daily Trust.

Speaking to the visiting minister, he stated: “Tell the president that we have to take care of our people, security first. All these programmes, as good as they are, cannot be (successful) without security. Security is first and fundamental.

He continued: “What are you to gain by killing, kidnapping people? It’s very unfortunate. I have not seen this kind of country; how do we live like animals? Three days ago, Magaji Gari (of Daura emirate council) was abducted. Nobody is safe now, whether in your house or road, wherever you are.

“What we want you to do for us is to stop the fight. Many people have deserted, abandoned their farms in fear of kidnapping and killings and other atrocities. It’s very unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, this online news medium can report that there is an ongoing military operation to restore calm in the northwest.