Residents have deserted a community in Zamfara after bandits demanded they pay them money to avoid attacks.

According to Sahara Reporters, residents of Makini in Zamfara state fled their homes after bandits asked them to pay a levy of N550,000.

A source told SaharaReporters that the bandits through an intermediary met with the leaders of the community where they were informed to contribute the money if they wanted to stay in their village peacefully.

The gunmen also demanded two motorbikes.

“There is no one in the community as we speak, they have all fled to neighbouring communities. Most of them are displaced here in Dankurmi. They requested for N550,000 and two motorcycles but residents of the community were unable to meet their demands, so they have no other option than to run away,” the source said.

When asked if the matter had been reported to security agencies, he said, “Yes, we did. They didn’t do anything after we reported to them. They are afraid as well.”

Deadly attacks have raged across Zamfara state where bandits have thrived.

Farming and herding communities in the state have long been terrorised by gangs who raid villages, stealing cattle and kidnap residents for ransom.

In 2019, the state government entered a peace agreement with the gunmen.

About 15 brand new Hilux vehicles and cash gifts were also given to leaders of different ‘repentant’ gangs of bandits by the governor in 2020.

But despite all these, communities in the state are still being attacked and residents kidnapped and/or killed.

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