Over a hundred individuals have been abducted by terrorists on Friday night, Nov. 24, for reportedly refusing to comply with a tax demand from a terrorist in Mutunji, Maru Local Government Area, Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria.
According to a local source, the terrorist, known as Damina, issued an ultimatum to the villagers, demanding a staggering sum of 50 million Naira within a week. The deadline expired on Friday, culminating in the abduction of the villagers who couldn’t fulfill this coercive demand.
One of the villagers who spoke to BBC Hausa Service said the terrorists invaded the community and went away with men after the Muslim congregational night prayer, in which most of the victims were men.
“They invaded us when men were chatting in the night and abducted us to the forest,” said one of the victims who escaped through the forest.
According to the escaped victim, it wasn’t only Matunji the terrorist forced tax on; other surrounding villages have been facing the same issue, showing how brazen the activities of the terrorists have been in the area.
“He has levied 30 million for the people of Kwana, 20 million for the people of Sabon Garin Mahuta, and 10 million for the people of Unguwar Kawo,” he said.
The entire region has been grappling with incidents of terrorism, and this latest episode underscores the persistent challenges faced by communities in the area.
“We were in the process of gathering the ransom for him when his men invaded us and went away with people,” he added.
Several remote communities in Zamfara State and many parts of North West Nigeria have been paying taxes to the terrorists to avoid attacks or to have access to their farms.
Police and local authorities are yet to release an official statement on the recent incident, and efforts to reach the police in Zamfara State proved abortive.
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