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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Zamfara residents pay N20m protection levy to wanted bandits leader Bello Turji to avoid attacks

Residents of Gidan-Goga village in the Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State have paid N20 million to the wanted bandits’ leader, Bello Turji, to forestall attacks on their community.

Bello Turji had imposed the levy on the village residents, asking them to pay the money on or before Sunday, November 27, 2022, or face the wrath of the bandits.

A source disclosed that the bandits threatened to attack the village if the money was not paid at the stipulated time.

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An indigene of the area who pleaded anonymity for security reasons told reporters that the money was paid on Sunday, adding that residents, who fled to other places, had started returning to the village.

He stated, “Many people, including myself, have returned to the village because of the payment of the levy. We paid additional sum of N6 million for the release of five people abducted by the terrorists who belonged to Bello Turji’s camp.”

SP Mohammed Shehu, the state Police Public Relations Officer, could not be reached on his phone for a reaction to the matter.

This is coming days after the Defence Headquarters declared Turji and 18 others wanted for terrorism, saying a reward of N5 million will be given to any person who brings information leading to the arrest of any of the insurgents.

The Military High Command said it would give N5 million to any Nigerian who has information how the terrorists can be captured, urging the public to contact 09135904467.

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It stated that the development became imperative in order to sustain tempo in clearing the adversaries, adding that it is in its bid to completely restore peace back to the country.

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