Bandits collect taxes from villagers in Niger, says govt


Governor Abubakar Sani Bello

By Mohammed Usman

Niger State govẹrnment has admitted that members of the ISWAP/Boko-Haram/Armed bandits force some villagers to pay taxes to them in the state.

The state Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development, Chieftaincy Affairs and Internal Security, Mr. Emmanuel Umar, disclosed this while giving security update and efforts made to free the locals from exploitations by the criminal groups.

The commissioner also said that the state government had risen to the challenge by calling on the communities, especially farmers who are being forced to pay before accessing their farm lands to ignore the armed men and go about their businesses.

Lamenting however that the security situation was being exergrated by the video in circulation on the social media about the state, the commissioner said that the fight against insurgency requires collective efforts by all and sundry to succeed.

“Until and unless we rise to the challenge it will consume everybody”, the commissioner said, while expressing fears that the locals who were always the first to receive attacks from the armed bandits should be ready to do the needful now to avoid further loss of lives and properties.

The commissioner however expressed regrets that, “Some unpatriotic people are fuelling insecurity and crisis in the state; but the government is not resting on its oars,” stressing that the state government was planning to establish Vigilante Corps to be working with police to contain the current security challenges.

“We are aware, God has blessed our farmers with bumper harvest this cropping season and the government is determined to support them, but these criminal are trying to extort them.

“We are doing everything to ensure that these criminals have no space in our communities”.

On the recent kidnap of 19 persons in Mashegu Local Government Area, Umar said that frantic efforts were being made by security agencies to rescue the victims unhurt and solicited for the prayers of Nigerlites and Nigerians against enemy forces.

Recall that some criminals in Rumbun Giwa in Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State recently wrote under the name, Kungiyan Manuma, and ordered all the farmers to be paying some specific levies and taxes to the group before accessing their farms to harvest the produce.


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