Terrorists Ask Zamfara Community To Pay N20m ‘Protection Levy’ After Abducting 44 Residents

Terrorists Ask Zamfara Community To Pay N20m ‘Protection Levy’ After Abducting 44 Residents

 

Fawaz Adebisi

 

 

No fewer than 44 residents, 39 women and children and five men, have been kidnapped in Kanwa village of Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

The incident happened on Thursday, November 17, 2022, as five women have reportedly managed to escape the terrorists’ camp.

According to a local source, Musa Abdullah, the terrorists attacked the community at night as Kanwa, surrounded by hills, is close to the dreaded Rugu forest.

He said, “They went straight to the village square and started gathering residents. You know most time, men run to the bush because they know the bandits mostly kill men. The five men taken were very unlucky.”

He also said that the terrorists, who were suspected to be from Dankarami’s camp, had yet to contact the relatives of the abductees to discuss ransom payment.

According to an anonymous source, five out of the 39 women escaped.

“Yes, they returned on the same night (Thursday) but had to be helped by some vigilante members to reach home because it was in the night. They said they escaped because of the high number of abductees,” he said.

According to him, the escapees followed another route while the terrorists were leading the victims to their hideouts.

The source, also revealed that the community has been deserted. “No one is there now. Most of the people are now in Kaura Namoda town because it’s relatively safer,” he said.

However, terrorists operating in the Shinkafi – Moriki – Isa axis have placed a N20 million protection levy on Moriki village in the same LGA.

Moriki, according to reports, has been facing terrorist attacks for years and has been one of the worse hit areas in the region.

A native of the community, Jamilu Shehu, disclosed that residents have started gathering money to pay the levy.

Mr Shehu said the deal was struck when some elders in the community met with a group of terrorists from the Bello Turji’s camp.

“Some weeks ago, some of our people were abducted when the ransom money was gathered, some of our elders went to pay the ransom and decided to talk with the bandits. They said we must pay a total of N20 million for protection which includes free access to our farms.

“They also promised to protect us from attack by some other bandits in the area. Infact, they said from here to Birnin Gwari, anywhere any of our residents is abducted, we should let them know. But the problem is getting the money,” Mr Shehu, who is a youth leader told PREMIUM TIMES on phone.

He added that the elders in the community have accepted the decision and it has been decided that every household should pay nothing less than N6,500 to make the sum.

When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Mohammed Shehu, couldn’t respond as message sent to him was also not responded to.

editor

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