Terrorists operating in the Shinkafi area of Zamfara State have ordered residents of a small village to pay for a motorcycle seized from the armed group by Nigerian soldiers.
The residents of Januhu village have until August 5 to pay ₦500, 000 ($659) or they will be attacked again, the villagers say.
It is the latest episode of violent extortion by terrorists in North West Nigeria.
Muhammadu Makwashe, Januhu’s village head, told HumAngle that the armed group came to attack them on July 29. By Coincidence the military were in the community at the same time.
“So the soldiers fiercely exchanged gunshots with the terrorists during the battle,” Makwashe said. “This effort made the bandits run away, leaving behind their motorcycle. A day after the incident, the armed group came back to us saying we must pay for the motorcycle they left behind. We told them that it was the soldiers that took the bike, not us.”
But the ringleader of the group, Shehu Bagiwaye, insisted that the villagers must pay for the lost motorcycle or face their wrath, Makwashe said.
Bagwiaye and his gang had terrorised the community with frequent attacks on the residents and their property.
“We have been experiencing hit-and-run operations from the armed group,” said Kabiru Maigero, 31, a farmer in the Januhu community.
Another resident, who simply identified himself as Mustapha, said the armed terrorists accused them of inviting soldiers to the village and insisted they must pay for their seized motorcycle.
“We resorted to asking each family unit within the community to pay ₦2,000 ($2.63)” he said. “We have completed gathering the money already today and would take the money to the group at the location they agreed to.”
Yazid Abubakar, spokesperson of the Zamfara police command, could not be reached by phone when contacted for comment on the incident.
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