Four communities in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State have been deserted following the abduction of 110 people by bandits for refusing to pay N110 million monthly levy to a notorious bandits kingpin.
PUNCH Online reports that bandits, on Friday night, invaded four villages in the local government and abducted 110 people for allegedly refusing to pay the N110 million levy imposed by the notorious bandits kingpin.
An indigene of the area, Ibrahim Mohammed, told PUNCH Online on the telephone that residents of the four villages, Mutumji, Kwana, Mahuta and Unguwar Kawo, have fled to Balele town for safety as the bandits leader sent a letter that he would come back and abduct more people if the N110 million levy was not paid within one week.
“We have to flee to other places due to the fear that after abducting 110 people, the leader of the bandits, sent a warning letter to us that we must pay the levy within a week or else he would send his men to come and abduct more people,” he said.
Mohammed explained that the bandits kingpin directed each of the four communities to pay certain amount of money to make up the N110 million.
According to him, Mutumji village is expected pay N50m, Kwana N30 million, Mahuta N20 million and Unguwar Kawo is to pay N10 million.
According to Mohammed, the four villages are currently deserted, stressing that there are only animals and the sick persons who could not go anywhere.
“The only thing you will see if you go to those villages are the animals and the sick persons or the old ones who cannot trek to other places,” he added.
Mohammed said bandits kingpin has been collecting levy in the four villages, lamenting that authorities are aware of their predicament but could not do anything to protect them.
He said, “We have been paying levies to bandits just because we have nobody to protect us and we have been reporting this issue to both the state and the local governments but nothing has been done.
“We are still calling on the Federal Government to please come to our aid.
“We have been in a terrible situation in the last four years.
“We have yet to harvest our crops because we could not settle the N110 million imposed on us by the bandits.”
All efforts made by PUNCH Online to speak to the spokesperson for the state police command, ASP Yazid Abubakar, failed as he could not be reached on the telephone.