by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
It’s no longer news that millions of Nigerians now save money in billions of naira put together to pay bandits in different places in states, local government, towns and cities.
While some of the savings are meant for tax revenue collection for lands as levy, some are amply for the victim Nigerians to gain access to their farmlands to harvest farm produce and/or pay the bandits when they strike.
In Kaduna, the situation is not only herculean but so sympathetic, as chunks of the money being saved here are spent on ransom and, in some cases, as levy on farmers and communities.
Just recently, bandits stormed Ungwam Gimbiya in Sabon Tasha, Chikun local government area of the state and swept persons estimated at about 12, including twins after reportedly killing five persons, mostly females.
Eyewitnesses had it that two young ladies were brutally shot dead for refusing to give out their body for rape about five days ago, precisely on Xmas Eve.
Many Kaduna towns and communities bordering Niger State, including communities in Niger State have been under bandits’ levy and taxations before assessing their farms for a very long time now, according to sources credited to Southern Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU, with hundreds of thousands of people displaced.
The situation, according to recent media reports, has only worsened in many local governments, towns and communities in Birnin Gawri and other parts of Northwestern States – Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, among others where bandits openly levy and collect taxes from residents in millions before and after harvesting their crops.
Governors of Katsina, Zamfara States and their counterparts have not pretended or hidden their feelings over the trends for crying out through their allies on several occasions of not been in-charge of the security of their various states.
Ransom payments have been a serial occurrence by some parents, openly or secretly, in northwest by parents and sometimes government officials also in millions; the most recent being the N70 million demanded as ransom from the poor woman kidnapped with her two kids in Kaduna around 8pm in the Ungwan Gimbiya episode.
The question consistently on the lips of the whalers without corresponding answers are, when will this quack mare socking the blood of innocent Nigerians come to an end? This is different from the scenario of a popular but pathetic story of a man, who sold his N5 million new building located in the outskirts of Kaduna south for a token of N1 million, in the frequently bandits-raided Jujji Village area of Sabon Tasha and quit Kaduna with family.