Gunmen have demanded over N1 million as levies from different communities in the Zurmi, Kaura Namoda and Birnin-Magaji local government areas of Zamfara State.
The communities are Birnin Tsaba, Gabaken Mesa, Gabaken Dan-Maliki, Turawa, Askawa and Yanbuki
Speaking to Channels Television on Sunday, a resident, Aliyu Abdul said the people of Askawa have paid N5 million for 18 abducted persons and to prevent further attacks on their community.
While noting that some communities are yet to raise the money before the December 11 deadline given by the gunmen, he said the situation has caused panic in the affected areas.
“Gabaken Mesa has paid N1 million, Gabaken Dan-Maliki N1 million and Birnin Tsaba N1 million, just to mention but few,” Aliyu said.
He explained that the Yanbuki community was told to pay N19 million but after negotiation, it was reduced to N10 million.
When asked whether the community has informed security agencies, he said: “No one is going to police to report, knowing full well that nothing will be done but to tell them to pay the money.
“I personally went to the military on Friday evening in Kaura Namoda to report the incident; I almost ended up fighting with one of the soldiers. I can categorically tell you nothing has been done, till now.”
The Commissioner for Information in the state, Ibrahim Dosara, confirmed the development to newsmen.
He said the state government is aware of the levy imposed on these communities but assured that the government is working with the security agencies to ensure that the communities are secured.
“The said government is working with the security agencies to make sure that these communities are secured,” the commissioner said.