Fishermen in Malleri community, Kwami Local Government area of Gombe State, on Tuesday appealed to the state government to save them from hippopotamus attacks.

Abdullahi Bako, a fisherman in the community, lamented that a large number of hippopotamuses had invaded the river where they fish. He said the animals had not only become a threat to their lives but were also destroying their fishing equipment.

Bako, who said he had been fishing in the river for 27 years, explained that they were using local tools that could easily be destroyed by the animals.

“We are appealing to the government to come to our aid and give us soft loans to enable us buy modern fishing equipment which will be difficult for the hippopotamuses to destroy,” he said.

According to him, in the past, he used to make a daily catch of eight to ten basins, which he sells for between N4,000 and N15,000, depending on the size of the fishes; however, he hardly gets up to three basins a day because of the animals.

Ahmadu Abdullahi, a 13-year-old who has been fishing since he was seven, appealed to the government to assist them, adding that he uses his proceeds to pay his school fees as well as solve other problems.

Another fisherman, Adamu Aliyu, alleged that they pay revenue to the Upper Benue River Development Authority every year, and so the Authority should provide assistance.

“We were made to understand that Gombe State Government, in collaboration with Bank of Industry, was disbursing loan to associations and groups,” he said. “Nobody remembered us and from all indications, the loan was not meant for rural dwellers.”

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