Birnin-Gwari union raises alarm over increased attacks, levies by bandits in Kaduna
Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU) in Kaduna State has decried increased attacks by armed bandits, even as farmers begin harvest. It also said bandits were imposing levies on farming communities in Birnin-Gwari Council.
BEPU Chairman, Ishaq Usman Kasai, in a signed statement, said: “The bandits informed some farming communities, including Kwaga, Kwanan-Shehu, Unguwan Liman and Unguwan Shekarau to pay levies amounting to N12 million (N3 million each) before they harvesttheir crops.
“These communities were given a grace period till today to pay the money, failing, which the bandits would kidnap any person found on farms. The union found that these helpless communities have started making contributions based on farm sizes to meet the deadline.
“We are, therefore, appealing to the Nigerian government to come to the aid of the farming communities in Birnin-Gwari, to allow them free access to their farms, to harvest their crops without harm or intimidation.”
Kasai added: “The six people kidnapped at Farm Centre on Saturday, September 24, 2022, from Kwaga community, were released after providing the bandits with 20 measures of rice, 20 measures of beans, 25 litres of red oil, 25 litres of groundnut oil and N10,000 worth of recharge card.
“Also, the four people of Unguwan Liman, who were kidnapped on Saturday, September 24, 2022, and another at Unguwan Shekarau, were released after a payment of N2 million and N500,000.
“The union is pleased to report that the five farmers earlier kidnapped on Thursday at Kurgin Gabas and Sabon-Layi areas luckily escaped from the kidnappers’ den after spending a week in captivity.
“Regrettably, a farmer was killed at Shiwaka community on Tuesday, September 27, after having been tied to a tree. Also, more than 20 people were kidnapped on Wednesday, September 28 at separate farms in the Jangali and Kwaga areas.”