Some agrarian communities in five Zamfara State local governments have cried out to the government to come to their aid as terrorists operating in the axis have demanded a levy of N12m before they are allowed to farm.
The affected communities include Anka, Birnin Magaji, Bakura, and Zurmi Local Government Areas, including Dansadau in Maru, according to a report by HumAngle.
A villager who simply gave his name as Manuga, told HumAngle that terrorists operating in Bakura Local Government Area of the state made the demand through a telephone call to a resident in one of the affected communities.
He said that two communities in the local government have been asked to make a payment of 12 Million within a space of three weeks.
“Prior to this notice, the terrorist group located in Faggi forest that leads to Shinkafi, Gandi forest axis, tasked Faggi community to pay N7 million, in March 2021,” revealed another villager whose name is Hamza Bakura.
“So also, the group billed Dankaiwa District, they asked the villagers to pay N15 million in early Dec. 2020.”
The report indicates that residents of Rumu, Doka, Tangaran, Jarkuka and Tungar-Nabarau villages of Wuya ward, in Anka Local Government area the state have vacated their respective villages after what they described as unbearable levies by the terrorists.
Findings in Zurmi Local Government Area revealed that the farmers from Nasarawa Mailayi, Kiyawa, Gusami Gari, and Gusami Hayi villages are currently being denied access to their farms in the outskirts of their villages.
In Dansadau District of Maru Emirate, farmers told reporters that they have continued to receive threats from different terror groups demanding to make similar concessional payments, to access to their farming without hindrance.
However, some villagers said they have resolved not to yield to the demands of the terrorists. One of such villagers noted that despite the threats by the terror groups, they resolved and vowed not to pay any penny to them for seasonal farming exercises to hold.
“Few among us who can afford the costs, farm at our farms. For instance, if 20 labourers are to work at my farm, I then hire 50 of our local vigilante group to guard the workers while they work in order to repel any attack from terrorists,” Bala said.