The farming season is fast approaching and it is coming with mixed feelings. In many states and places in the country, many farmers are expectant while many others are really troubled over the security situation. A number of farmers and their families – including women, children and the aged – are still hurdled up at internally displaced persons camps (IDPs) under an extremely harsh and helpess conditions.

In the last harvest season, many farmers experienced great loss because their harvests were eaten up and destroyed by cows led and supervised by suspected herders while some got rotten because farms were not accessible as a result of the security situation.

On this note, it is interesting to know that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, made a statement few days ago when he said that the Nigerian armed forces would take proactive measures to safeguard agricultural zones to enable farmers go to their farms as they are critical stakeholders in achieving food security for the country.

The General spoke to newsmen when he visited the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. According to him, there is a relationship between food sufficiency and national security saying that, “without food security, no nation can thrive; when we can’t eat, insecurity will thrive.”

He also said that, “The President has given us a mandate to ensure that farmers are able to go back to farm so that we can have bumper harvests. We know if there is hunger, there will be insecurity no matter what military actions you take. Once people are hungry, insecurity will thrive. So we’ll do everything possible to ensure that there’s security for farmers to go back.

“We’re working together with other security agencies, including the populace and recall. We said that for insecurity everybody has a role to play and together we can all achieve success. The armed forces will continue to work together with the government to improve food security”, he said.
Going by the trending security situations in the country in the big food producing states, we are curious: Is the presidential order given to the military by Mr. President being carried out, especially in in farming states and communities in Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Zamfara, Borno, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa and other states where bandits, terrorists and suspected Fulani herdsmen are currently occupying sacked communities and farms after killing and forcefully taking over people’s lands? Is there a better way to describe a lawless and barbaric society like ours?

Is President Tinubu’s directive to the armed forces to protect farms being implemented or it is being treated with levity? Or was it another usual political directive? Why then have criminal herders taken over farmlands, killing and maiming armless and defenceless peasants in Apa and Agatu Local Government in Benue State without corresponding interventions from security agencies? Why?

We will continue to monitor the development countrywide, but for now, General Musa has his job well cut out for him already. As an editorial board, we think that it is most appropriate for the CDS to take a working tour of these areas to see for himself the misery that has become the life of the people. We strongly urge him as the number one officer in the land to implement the presidential order in the aforementioned places to the letter or else, like the CDS himself has said, hunger will thrive next year and insecurity could overwhelm the country.