Bandits Kidnap 100 Zamfara Residents For Failing To Pay ₦110M Protection Levy

The terrorists asked residents of the communities to pay N110 million as a protection levy.

Terrorists operating in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday abducted more than 100 residents in separate but coordinated attacks in several villages over the failure of the villagers to pay a N110 million protection levy.

The terrorists that carried out the attack are believed to be loyal to a terror kingpin, Damina, who operates around the Dansadau axis of the state.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that those abducted were from Mutunji, Unguwar Kawo, Kwantar Dutsi and Sabon Garin Mahuta.

A local source told BBC Hausa that Mr Damina led a gang of terrorists on motorcycles and surrounded the community a few minutes after the dusk prayer at 8:00 p.m.

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“We were sitting in a place called Yar Kasuwa after the Isha’i prayers when the terrorists stormed the community. They surrounded the community while others drove into the community centre. We began running but it was already too late. They matched people into the forest,” he said.

Men, women and children were abducted, he said.

Unknown to the residents of Mutunji, other neighbouring communities were being raided at the time.

“They also attacked other communities including Unguwar Kawo, Kwanar Dutsi and Sabon Garin Mahuta and took away several people. We’ve at least 100 people taken. We’re still counting to ascertain the true number of those taken,” another source said.

Compensation levy

The source said Mr Damina attacked Mutunji because the village failed to give him N50 million he asked them to pay as compensation for “informing soldiers” of the terrorists’ movements.

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Mr Damina gave the residents a week to gather the money but the source said they couldn’t gather it.

“We were trying to gather the money reaching out to people when he (Mr Damina) decided to strike.

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“He had also imposed such levy on the other communities. Kwana residents were asked to pay N30 million, people of Sabon Garin Mahuta were asked to gather N20 million while residents of Unguwar Kawo were asked to pay N10 million,” he said.

The police spokesperson in the state, Yazid Abubakar, did not respond to calls and SMS sent to him on the attack.

The North-west subregion has been battling terrorists, also called bandits, for over a decade.

The terrorists have killed and abducted thousands of people and tens of thousands of others have been displaced in the region.

The terrorists primarily target schools, religious houses, travellers and rural communities.


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