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Bandits Abduct 100 In Zamfara Villages For Failing To Pay Levies



Bandits Abduct 100 In Zamfara Villages For Failing To Pay Levies

The bandits then apprehended the weak among the residents who were mostly women and children

Gusau, Zamfara State –  A notorious bandit leader known as Damina and his armed cohort have killed a resident and abducted over 100 villagers, mostly women and children, in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

The assailants believed to be under the command of Damina, targeted four villages—Mutunji, Sabongari Mahuta, Kwanar Dutsi, and Unguwar Kawo,  all under Maru LGA for failing to pay levies imposed on the communities.

Damina had terrified the community and imposed over N110 million levy on farmers before they would be allowed to access their farms.

A resident of Mutunji, who craved anonymity, in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service on Saturday, November 25, 2023, said that the bandits struck on Friday night.

“The latest attack was because the farmers could not pay the N110 million levy imposed on the farmers by Damina,” the source said.

“The bandits came on on many bikes, encircled the community and went away with the people on Friday night. We need help, the situation is beyond our control.

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“Two weeks ago, there was confusion amongst the bandits after they were hit on the ground through a plane.

“The bandits asked the people of Mutunji to give them N50 million, those in Fara to give N30 million, Mahuta 20 million, Unguwan Kawo 10 million.

“That’s a total of N110 million demanded by Damina.

“As of Friday, the locals were not able to meet the bandits’ demand.

Damina came to Mutunji and killed one, inflicted injury on another and took over 100 locals to the forest.

“Damina operated between 9.40 pm till around 11pm. He took what he wanted and left. He said they must give him the sum of N110 million.

“Previously, he was given N8 million, N10 million, even N20 million was given to him at different times. Unspecified amounts were given; we should just leave the matter to Almighty Allah.”

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Another resident of Mutunji, said the bandits carried out operation across four villages simultaneously.

“Immediately they entered Mutunji village, they started firing gunshots sporadically into the air to scare the residents. As expected, people started running for their lives,” he said.

“The bandits then apprehended the weak among the residents who were mostly women and children. Of course, the abled ones among the residents escaped. While they were operating, I tried to call a friend in the neighbouring village of Kwanar-Dutse to seek for help but he told me that they were also under attack.

“Ibrahim told me that as at the time I was speaking with him, he was in the bush together with some people after escaping.”

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Another resident, who also craved for anonymity, said the bandits might be of same gang, but divided themselves into four with each group attacking one village.

“We learnt that after the separate operations in the four villages, the bandits regrouped and dragged the abductees into the bush. The bandits are now attacking villages and abducting their victims at will. They no longer face any resistance from security personnel. In fact, residents have now been abandoned. We don’t receive any help from the security personnel whenever the bandits operate

“The issue is that even if you inform the security or the traditional rulers nothing is being done to prevent such attack. Sometimes, we get to know about the coming of the bandits but even if we inform the concerned authorities, that will not make any positive impact.”

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