Security

Bandits enforce levy, threaten to abduct defaulters in Zamfara

A native of Magami in Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara state has narrated how bandits in the area enforce levy on residents with threats to abduct or burn defaulters’ farmland.

According to the resident in a phone interview with Vanguard said; ”once you left Gusau before you reach Magami is a herculean task unless you have an escort.

”Since the killing of MOPOL, in a day they block the road 4 to 5 times. They stop large vehicle and empty the contents. They also impose tax.

”If you go to Magami, a kilometre to Magami the bandits can stop you, either abduct you or ask you to pay tax.

”As from Monday, they have set two farms on fire at Magami because of failure to pay tax to the bandits.”

”The farmers went to harvest maize on the farm but the bandits stopped them and set the farms on fire. They held two women hostage, who were there.

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“The bandits seized a new vehicle belonging to the farmers, but they later released the women.

”The bandits demanded for money, before the farmers could mobilize and pay them, they set the farms on fire and threatened that if money was not given to them, they will continue to burn the farms.

” Yesterday the bandits set some places on fire near the entrance to the town, but people teamed up and chased them away before putting off the fire.”

”What happened was less than a kilometre to Magami and the place was on the road. They are doing that to show us if money is not paid to them, they will continue to burn people’s farms.”

”There are plans to collect money from community members and pay them. But before that is done, if you dare go to the farm, they will abduct you, burn your farm and demand ransom. That is our current predicament”.

However, the state police command in a BBC Hausa report denied the report of bandit’s imposing a levy in the area. The police said no complaints had been made before it of any destruction of farmland by the bandits.

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