Sokoto bandits have levied over 50 communities in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto state.
This was even before last Thursday’s imposition, on 87 more communities in the same Sabon Birni Local Government, of 300,000 Naira each, totalling 26.1 Million Naira, by some of the newly ‘appointed’ village heads by the bandits, which the communities must pay in three weeks.
This brings the total of levied communities in the area to over 130.
Many of the communities were levied more than twice, especially if a gunman was either attacked or arrested there, and many have already paid.
In some of the communities, aside the collective levy, individuals were also levied according to their gender.
In Gangara and Kahin Aska, for example, each man was levied 1,500 naira while each woman must pay 1,000 naira, non negotiable.
It is not clear whether or not children too were levied.
In Kiratawa, after the payment of first and second levies, the villagers were forced to contribute another 1 million naira as ransom for their Imam that the bandits had taken away.
The Imam was reportedly released after the villagers had made the payment.
In Sha Dawa and Gidan Gyara communities, the villagers were/are made farmslaves by the bandits, where they were/are forced to work on the bandits’ farmlands as their own ‘levy’.
DailyStar Nigeria investigators have compiled names of 43 (out of many other) Sabon Birni Communities that have already paid their levies to bandits.
The communities that have paid the levies imposed on them by bandits as at Sunday October 7, 2021 are:
1- Garin Idi 1 Million Naira
2- Rambaɗawa 500,000 Naira
3- Tudun Wanda 370,000 Naira
4- Nasarawa 600,000 Naira
5- Zangon Ga Itace 300,000 Naira
6- Makuwana 1Million Naira
7- Tsauna 200,000 Naira
8- Tagirke 600,000 Naira (First payment) 800,000 (Second payment) 700,000 (Third payment)
9- Allakiru 3.5 Million Naira (Paid 2.9 million, to pay 600,000 balance)
10- Dogon Marke 2.2 Million Naira
11- Dakwaro 100,000 Naira
12- Kwarangaba 3 Million Naira
13- Adarawa 300,000 Naira (First payment) 1.5 Million Naira (Second payment)
14- Atallawa 400, 000 Naira (First payment), 400,000 Naira (Second payment)
15- Ƙiratawa 500,000 Naira (First payment), 600,000 Naira (Second payment), 1 Million Naira as levy for the release of their Chief Imam
16- Hawan Diran 80,000 Naira
17- Kuka – 100,000 Naira
18- Kwatsal 2 Million Naira (First Payment), 2 Million Naira (Second payment)
19- Dukkuma – 1.7 Million Naira (First payment) 400,000 Naira (Second payment)
20- Takaki – 600,000 Naira
21- Dabagi 100,000 Naira
22- Dan Maliki – 400,000 Naira
23- Ɓore – 2 Million Naira
24- Mallamawa 1 Million Naira
25- Kimba -350,000 Naira (First payment), 1.5 Million Naira (Second payment)
26- Katsira 1.5 Million Naira
27- Masawa 5 Million Naira (Payment not yet confirmed)
28- Faru 4 Million Naira
29- Sha Dawa (Farming for bandits by Villagers)
30- Gidan Gyara – (Farming for bandits by Villagers)
31- Dungurum 500,000 Naira
32- Gamuzo 1 Million Naira
33- Jinjira- 4 Million Naira
34- Walkiya Sabuwa 1 Million Naira
35- Walkiya Tsohuwa 300,000 Naira
36- Kitamau 600,000 Naira
37- Gangara Levied individually and as Community after initial payment of 1.5 Million Naira by the community
38- Kaihin Aska – Each Man 1,500 Naira, each woman 1,000 Naira (After the community had paid 1 Million Naira)
39) Garki 4 Million Naira
40- Ahifara 1.5 Million Naira
41- Dan Aduwa 1.5 Million Naira
42- Zangon Abamu 2 Million Naira
43- Gatawa 5 Million Naira as Second payment.
Meanwhile, Sokoto State Police Commissioner, Mr Kamaldeen Okunlola, in an interview with a local radio station, denied that any community was levied by the gunmen.
According to him, “[it] is a lie. [It] is not true that anybody levied any community”.
Analysts in the state express fear over what they describe as “subtle parallel government” by gunmen in many parts of Sabon Birni Local Government Area and many other communities in Eastern Sokoto.
In their argument, “wherever and whenever a legitimate government does not have power over a gang of criminals that impose ‘laws’ and levies on citizens, then that part is gradually tilting towards anarchy.”
There are expressions of anger and anguish in the state with the Federal and Sokoto State Governments over their respective (mis)handlings of the situation.