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One killed, 20 abducted as bandits demand N12m ‘harvest levies’ from Kaduna farmers

Bandits have killed a farmer in Shiwaka community and abducted over 20 people on different farms in Jangali and Kwaga in Birnin Gwari Local Government…

Bandits have killed a farmer in Shiwaka community and abducted over 20 people on different farms in Jangali and Kwaga in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Ishaq Usman Kasai, Chairman, Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU), disclosed this in a statement issued on Thursday, adding that the assailants had given farmers till Friday to pay N12m levies before they could harvest their crops.

According to him, the incident happened on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He also said the bandits informed some farming communities including Kwaga, Kwanan-Shehu, Unguwan Liman, and Unguwan Shekarau to pay levies running into N12 million (3 million each) Before they will be allowed to continue harvesting their crops.

“These communities are giving only grace of coming Friday to meet the condition; failure of which the bandits vowed to kidnap any person found on the farm. The union found that these helpless communities have started making contributions based on their farm sizes to meet the condition and the dateline,” he said.

The union also gave updates on the previous attacks and abductions in the area, saying the six people kidnapped at Farm Centre last Saturday in Kwaga Community, were released on Wednesday after the bandits collected 20 mudu (bowls) of rice, 20 mudu of beans, 25 litres of red oil, 25 litres of groundnut oil and call cards worth N10,000.

The union added that four people from Unguwan Liman, who were kidnapped last Saturday and one resident of Unguwan Shekarau, were released on Wednesday after payment of N2.5 million ransom respectively.

The union also said five farmers earlier kidnapped on Thursday, September 15, at Kurg Gabas and Sabon-Layi areas luckily escaped from the kidnappers’ den in the early hours of last Friday, after spending a week in captivity.

BEPU, therefore, appealed to the Nigerian government to come to the aid of the helpless Kurgan communities in order to allow them harvest their crops without any harm or intimidation.

Calls made to the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Jalige Mohammed, were not unanswered.