Nigeria: Sankera: The Transformation of Benue’s Yam Hub into an Axis of Terror

Nigeria: Sankera: The Transformation of Benue’s Yam Hub into an Axis of Terror

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

In the past, Sankera was a place of envy, celebrated for its yams. It produced and sold more yams than any other area in Benue State. The yams from Sankera were renowned for their sweetness and were highly sought after for dishes like pounded yam and pepper soup. People from all over would flock to Sankera to buy the essential commodity and enjoy the local delicacies made from it.

Life in Sankera revolved around yam farming and trading, and it was a bustling hub of activity. Unfortunately, this idyllic image of Sankera has been shattered by the invasion of terrorists, armed robbers, and kidnappers. These criminal elements have turned the area into a hotbed of violence and terror, killing people indiscriminately and kidnapping others for ransom.

As a result of this insecurity, life in Sankera has become unbearable, and the economic benefits that yam farming and trading used to bring to the area have disappeared. Sankera, which comprises Logo, Ukum, and Katsina-Ala local government areas, was once known as the economic powerhouse of Benue State. It was responsible for producing and transporting over 90% of the yams consumed in the state and beyond. However, the growing insecurity has forced many yam traders to abandon the area in search of safer markets.

The recent wave of killings and kidnappings in Sankera has sent shockwaves throughout the community. The chairman and the chief security officer of Ukum LGA, Rev. Gideon Haanongon, were kidnapped by armed men, and some individuals were killed in the area. Rev. Haanongon and his team were abducted on January 13, 2024, and their captors demanded a ransom of N50 million for their release.

This incident was not an isolated one. In October 2023, the pioneer Chairman of Ukum LGA, Pa Raymond Erukaa, was kidnapped from his home and later found dead in captivity, despite a ransom being paid for his release. The former PDP Organizing Secretary, Chief Job Tiza, was also kidnapped alongside six other passengers in September 2023.

The situation in Sankera has become dire, and the people are living in fear. The police have made some arrests and rescued some victims, but the root causes of the insecurity in the area remain unresolved. The new police commissioner has pledged to address the issue, but it remains to be seen whether the security agencies will be able to restore peace and security to Sankera.

In conclusion, Sankera’s transformation from a thriving yam hub to an axis of terror is a tragic tale of how insecurity can destroy communities and economies. The people of Sankera deserve to live in peace and security, and it is the responsibility of the government and security agencies to make this a reality.

Post a Comment

Translate »