No fewer than 20 farmers and a health worker were seized yesterday, Nov. 10 at a roadblock set up by terrorists in Bukuyum Local Government Area (LGA) of Zamfara State, North West Nigeria.
The incident took place at about 2:30 p.m. at an area known as the Walale River, near Yargalma village. Here, terrorists had set up a roadblock where commuters could only pass through after they had met their demands in cash or in kind.
Saminu Amadu, brother of one of those abducted, explained that the terrorists intercepted his elder brother, Jamilu Jida Bukuyum, a community health worker, on his way to Yargalma village dispensary from Bukuyum town.
Prior to this, the gang had kidnapped many people who were unaware that a roadblock had been introduced on the route, HumAngle gathered.
Much earlier, the terrorists had threatened the community never to report or inform authorities of their plot in the area, residents who pleaded anonymity revealed.
A farmer, Ummaru Maigatari, said he and 12 others escaped abduction after they paid between N500 to N1,000 each to the terrorists. Some of the farmers surrendered their mobile phones in order to gain free passage.
“I think we were 31 gathered together at Walale checkpoint by the nine terrorists armed with guns and ammunition. They seized 20 of us, including a health worker, because they did not have the money to pay the armed gang,” Ummaru said.
Ummaru added that the terrorists were aware that communities in the area were impoverished. They now lacked any cattle to be rustled or farm produce to sell off for ransom payments. There was also no bustling market to enable them demand for ‘protection money’ from locals. “This is why some of the armed groups resorted to creating mobile checkpoints at strategic farming lands.”
“The armed gangs operate strategically on market days along the routes they know farmers and local business people travel to the farms or markets. These markets include: Fridays, Wednesdays and Sundays for Gummi, Gadar-Zaima, and Nasarawa market days,” the village head of Yarlma, Alhaji Alu Mamman, told HumAngle.
“If we can get highly armed security operatives who are patriotic, I believe they can fight and kill these young boys with deadly arms ravaging our communities,” the monarch said.
Some Yargalma residents said the terror group operate from Gando forest, a popular den for terrorists in Bukuyum LGA.
Usman Modibbo Halilu, the Divisional Police Officer of Bukuyum Police Divisional Headquarters, said “we received reports of the sad development leading to the abduction of 20 farmers and local businessmen by the armed bandits. I promptly reported to the State Police Command. We will ensure the safe rescue of the victims.”
Yazid Abubakar, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Zamfara State Police Command, said the police was presently contacting sources to gather vital information that would lead to the safe rescue of the victims in Bukuyum LGA.
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