The Banditry activities in Niger state have taken a different dimension as the bandits have now adopted a different approach of asking communities to contribute certain amount of money every month or risk attack.
Rather than the usual kidnapping and demanding for ransom from relations of victims, the bandits are said to be requesting N5million monthly from these communities or they will all be eliminated.
A source close to Iburo, Gamdu, Dnasa, Pyegbere, Dnasapa, Jhazhayidna, Goffan A and B, Chukuba and Galapy communities in Shiroro Local Government Area of the State told newsmen that the bandits, through an intermediary (name withheld) who is resident in another communities called Kusasu, held a meeting with the communities where they were told to contribute N5million every month if they (the people) need peace.
Although our correspondent gathered that the communities were able to raised N3million from individual contributions and the sales of their farm produce for the month of December, the bandits have warned that the N5million must be complete in the month of January or have themselves to blame.
According to our source who claimed to have attended the negotiation meeting, the intermediary told them that the bandits will not accept anything less than the agreed amount if the people want to continue to live in peace and go about with their normal activities.
Our source further said “the man who represented the Bandits told the communities that we must agree to pay the N5million every month if not there will be no peace
“He told us that the bandits have agreed to stop attacking us if we can pay the N5million. We pleaded that the communities will be giving them N2million every month but they refused.
He pointed out that “Last month, that was December, we contributed N3million but they warned us that if the N5million is not complete this January, they will come and kill everybody”, our source revealed.
When asked if this latest development has been brought to the attention of the government or security agents, our source said “even if we report, we know that nothing will be done about it.
Severally we have reported attacks to security agents or the government in the past but nobody came to our rescue”.
Meanwhile people, mostly women and children are beginning to relocate from these communities for fear of being attacked as the possibility of raising the N5million this month appeared impossible.