BANDITS have reportedly levied three communities in Shinkafi local government area of Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria, N3 million each (about $3000 USD) to be paid to a notorious bandit kingpin, known as Dan Bokolo, to avert attacks by the group terrorizing the communities.
There are reports that the levy is a fine against the communities for providing information to security operatives by residents in Kamarawa, Sabuwar Kamarawa, and Gebe, which led to the arrest of Dan Bokolo’s brother, Abdullahi.
While the state governor, Dauda Lawal, has maintained a stance against negotiating with terrorists, local sources claimed that the payment was made to ensure the safety of the communities.
A resident who spoke anonymously said the arrest of Abdullahi triggered tension in the communities with Dan Bokolo claiming that individuals from the communities betrayed his brother.
In an effort to broker peace, community elders engaged in negotiations with the terrorists. Eventually, Dan Bokolo agreed to accept a reduced sum of N3 million, from his initial demand of N6 million, as compensation for the perceived betrayal.
Peace advocate and human rights activist, Basharu Guyawa highlighted that such protection levies have become commonplace in eastern Sokoto and Zamfara.
While the communities have reportedly complied with the demands, concerns remain about the bandit’s commitment to refraining from future attacks,