A community leader, Alhaji Zubairu Abdulra’uf has lamented the amount of money some communities in Kaduna State pay bandits as bribes, to stop attacks and to be allowed access to their farms.
Abdulra’uf from the Birnin Gwari Emirate Council in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, said on the state-owned radio – the Kaduna State Media Corporation, “Yes, N200 million was paid to bandits in Randegi district alone.
“When you talk of Birnin-Gwari Local Government as a whole, it’s between N300 million to N400 million paid to these bandits.
“There are three stages of paying these types of taxes to these bandits. You have to pay pre-season and mid-season when the crops are about to start yielding. You will pay these bandits because they will not allow you to have access to your farm. Then, at the end of the season when you are harvesting, you will give these bandits money before you access your farm.
“And when you access your farm after paying these taxes, they will now tell you that apart from giving them money, you will give a ratio of two bags to 10 bags of all the assorted grains.”
According to him, “For the past three years, this is what the Birnin-Gwari people have been enduring and we are now in a state of hopelessness and frustration.
“When people are frustrated, they will now look for the best option for themselves which is to arm themselves if the government cannot protect them.”
He said these communities pay these bribes to bandits to enable them to go to their farms.
Abdulra’uf, however, added that the people of the emirate are now defending themselves against terrorists that had over the years taken over the area.
On Thursday, he told journalists in Kaduna that the incessant attacks on communities had paralysed economic activities in their rural areas and made travelling in the area impossible.