- Residents of Gusau LGA, of Zamfara state, are appealing to the government to come to their rescue concerning the security of their lives
- The residents made a public outcry recently regarding the recent move by bandits in their area, calling on the government's intervention
- Meanwhile, the residents disclosed that bandits are destroying their farmlands and imposing levies on them
Zamfara state- The attack by bandits in Zamafara state has taken a new turn as they have started extorting residents in some communities.
Recent reports indicate that the bandits now collect taxes from the people through roadblocks.
Vanguard reports that the residents of Magami in Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara state have raised the alarm over worsening security, begging the government for help to save their communities from the rampaging bandits that have imposed levies on them.
According to them, the bandits normally mount roadblock to collect the levies, lamenting that whosoever fail to pay the levy, the bandits would either destroy such person’s farm or he or she would be abducted.
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“If you fail to pay bandits the levy, they either abduct you or burn your farm land."
However, the newspaper stated further that the State Police Command has denied the report, saying no complaints had been made before it of any destruction of farmland by the bandits.
The recent move by bandits
A native of Magami said in a phone interview that the area was in a serious calamity.
According to him:
"Once you leave Gusau before you reach Magami is a herculean task unless you have an escort. Since the killing of Mobile Police, MOPOL men in a day, they block the road four to five 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 but the bandits stopped them and set the farms on fire. They held two women who were there hostage. 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, the bandits set the farms on fire and threatened that if money was not given to them, they will continue to burn the farms.
He lamented that although there were soldiers stationed in Magami town, residents’ lives depend on Almighty Allah because He is the only one that can protect them, adding “This is our problem every day and our worry everyday day.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that a coalition of 76 Non-governmental Organisations and Civil Society Activists have knocked the intelligence arms of the military and the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for continued attacks on military formations and other infrastructure of the state by terrorists.
The activists also lamented over the kidnapping and robbery by bandits saying the attacks were not only a setback to the war against insecurity but a blatant embarrassment to the armed forces and Nigeria in general.
The group particularly made reference to the recent kidnapping of travellers in broad daylight along Abuja-Kaduna road, an attack in Borno that resulted in the killing of a General and three other soldiers, the attack on a Kaduna-Abuja bound train, and several others as clear instances of intelligence failure.