An air of uncertainty has enveloped two communities in Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria, over an imminent terror attack following their failure to meet up with the payment of N9 million levied on them by a terror gang.
HumAngle learnt that a terror group led by Dullu Kachalla, one of the terror kingpins in the area, sent a message to Jangeru and Birnin Yero villages in Shinkafi Local Government Area of the state on Sunday, Feb. 13, to brace up for an attack after they failed to meet up with the tax payment.
Following negotiations with the terror group, the residents of the two communities agreed to pay N9million as against N40 million requested by the terrorists. They were given two weeks to get the money ready or face attacks.
To avert the attack, they are contributing N6000, according to leaders who did not want to be named.
“We sat and agreed to task ourselves, in fact, each and every one of us is to pay nothing less than N6,000 including wood breakers, street hawkers and shoemakers, and of course no matter how less or small is one’s business,” an elder in one of the communities told HumAngle.
“Other categories such as “government workers are to pay N20,000, businessmen are to pay between N50,000 to N100,000, depending on the viability of one’s business venture or influence.”
But they were unable to raise the amount, according to one Garba, a farmer and resident of Jangeru.
“We could not raise up to this amount we promised. This is why all of us are in intense fear now. We told and reported to all relevant government agencies and traditional authorities of the catastrophe we are in. But it is done during this rush hour,” Garba said.
Bala, another resident, told HumAngle “we are too poor to pay the terror group the agreed N9 million. The two communities could not realise the agreed N9 million within two weeks as promised despite the drastic slash-down and discount of N31 million.”
Local sources told HumAngle that Dullu visited the communities and warned that his ‘men’ would take down anyone found at the outskirts of the two localities.
Dr Tijjani Shinkafi, a university don at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, who is familiar with the scales and frequencies of the security affairs in Northwest region of Nigeria said paying the taxes levied by the terror group would not stop them from attacking the communities.
“Even if the tax levied on the communities is paid by the residents, the terror group would not stop attacking the innocent citizens as was the case of Fara village that paid N30 million in December, 2021 to a terror group. The Fara village could not escape, still displaced after scores were killed and many kidnapped. so also many villages in Tsafe, Anka, Zurmi etc,” Dr Shinkafi said.
He appealed to the Nigerian Government to come to the rescue of the two despairing communities noting that “this is the first time that the terrorist start demanding tax payment in Shinkafi villages and communities.”
“If Zamfara State and indeed the Nigerian Governments allowed this to happen with the Birnin-Yero and Jangeru villages, all terror groups living within and across the Nigeria-Niger borders would inexplicably be attacking all the villages and communities for similar demand that the residents cannot afford to pay.”