Bandits have allegedly enforced fine of ten million naira on the people of some selected communities in Zurmi local government area of Zamfara state.
In a special report of BBC Hausa service on Thursday monitored by this medium said the decision to enforce the ten million naira fine was reached after a reconciliation meeting held between the people of the community and members of the armed bandits group in a community based at the neighboring Shinkafi local government.
According to a source, the bandits invited the people of Yanbuki and it’s neighboring villages for the reconciliation meeting and the communities accepted the offer for the reconciliation as the only option of avoiding the constant threat and intimidation by the armed bandits.
According to the source, the recent attack faced by the Yanbuki people is the one launched on Saturday when the bandits kidnapped (35) people who were standing by the road site awaiting a vehicle.
He told BBC Hausa that the reconciliation meeting took place at a village called “Kuryar Kware” and was attended by majority of the residents of Yanbuki, and it’s neighboring villages.
“After realizing that all effort to get the government secure our territory has failed we had no option than to accept the offer for the reconciliation, and they have demanded for the payment of ten million naira fine” the source added.
“We have accepted to pay the money because of our condition. The villages involved included Yanbuki, Tsaka, Maduba, Askawa, Ganda Samu, Dillin Fulani and Kafan Dutsi and people from these villages mentioned were those who participated in the reconciliation meeting and accepted the offer for the payment of the fine.
The source further told BBC Hausa service that, the bandits requested for the residents of Yanbuki to pay for ransom of the (68) persons that have been at their custody since their abduction few days back.
He said on this particular issue of payment of ransom, even the communities and bandits have met again on Wednesday but could not reach agreement.
Another source who is currently in Gusau said “he was asked to pay his (N13,000) part of the contribution every resident of Yanbuki or the neighboring community is to pay for onward transmission to the bandits.
Zamfara State government through its commissioner for information Ibrahim Dosara told BBC Hausa service it is not aware that a fine has been enforced on the people of Yanbuki community but promised to investigate the substance of the claim.
“We are aware of the condition of the people of Yanbuki especially considering their proximity with the bandits camp and even recently security agencies came to their rescue on the threat they are facing. But we are not aware that they were asked to pay ten million naira fine. We cannot confirm the substance of the claim now until we investigate it”.
On the allegation that, the people of Yanbuki were neglected by the government despite the threat they are facing from the bandits the commissioner said, “they have informed you that recently the vehicles of security agencies were attacked and set ablaze by the bandits so if they are neglected—how have security vehicles got burnt? I think issues of saying they abandoned does not arise”.
Dosara further said, enforcement of fine on communities by some suspected bandits is the latest security threat faced by many communities in Zamfara state and that the state government with the security agencies are making effort to see to the rescue of people from Zurmi, Bungudu, Kaura Namoda, Gusau, Bakura, Maru and Tsafe