There is tension in Gagarawa, Suletankarkar, Garki and Taura local government areas of Jigawa State over the 12,000 hectares of farmland given to a Chinese investor by the state government.
Daily Trust gathered that apart from the early resistance to the proposed project, farmers in the affected communities now treat those that collected compensation for their farmlands as ‘betrayers’.
Those who collected compensation were now banished from their communities, some of the victims told our reporter.
During a visit to two of the most affected communities, Gayawar Mallam and Garin Ciroma, our reporter gathered that majority of the locals have vowed not accept compensation from government, insisting that they were not ready to part with their ancestral lands.
Speaking to Daily Trust, the district head of Gayawar Mallam, Buhari Hussaini, who is one of those treated as betrayers, said since he received compensation, his subjects ganged up against him as nobody took instructions from him any longer, and that they no longer exchange pleasantries with him or invited him to any ceremony.
“I am the district head of Gayawar Mallam, but despite my position, I have been excommunicated by people in my domain. Although, nobody asked me to leave the village, presently nobody interacts with me simply because I collected my compensation which is legitimately mine.
“If I take my grains for grinding nobody attends to me. All these are because I have collected compensation for my farmland,” he said.
Other members of the communities that accepted compensation said they were also facing various challenges.
Jigawa State Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar has launched the project saying the Social and Economic Impact Assessment conducted on the project indicates that a farmer with two hectares would make a minimum of 350 percent of his annual farm income from the sugarcane cultivation.