Niger Govt warns communities against paying levies, taxes to bandits
Niger state govẹrnment has warmed communites in the state paying tax to bandits to stop the idea, just as its acknowledged such instance in the area.
The Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development, Chieftaincy Affairs and Internal Security, Mr. Emmanuel Umar, who gave the warning disclosed while giving security update and efforts made by government to free the locals from exploitations by the groups.
The Commissioner said that the state government was not unaware that villagers were being taxed or extorted by members of the ISWAP/Boko-Haram/Armed bandits who established their presence in some Local Government Areas in the state.
He, nevertheless, said the state government had risen to the challenge and called on the communities, especially farmers who are being forced to pay before accessing their farm lands, to ignore the armed men and go about their daily businesses.
Lamenting, however, that the security situation was being exergrated by the video in circulation on the social media about the state, the Commissioner said the fight against insurgency was a war between evil and good, requiring collective efforts by all and sundry to succeed.
“Until and unless we rise to the challenge,it will consume everybody”, the Commissioner told the people.
Umar disclosed that plans were on the way by the state government to establlish Vigilante Corps to be working with police to contain current security challenges.
“We are aware God has blessed our farmers with bumper harvest this cropping season and the government is determined to support them, but these criminals are trying to extort them.
“We are doing everything to ensure that these criminals have no space in our communities,” according to the Commissioner.
He urged the locals who are always the first to receive attacks from the armed bandits to be ready to do the needful,now, to avoid further loss of lives and properties.
He said they could do this by becoming more resilient to the armed bandits, refuse bow to their intimidations and defy command inorder to frustrate them.
The Commissioner, however, expressed regret that, “some unpatriotic people are fuelling insecurity and crisis in the state, but assured that the government was not resting on its oars”.
It would be recalled that some criminal elements in Rumbun Giwa in Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger state recently wrote under the name, “Kungiyan Manuma” and ordered all the farmers to be paying some specific levies and taxes before accessing their farms to harvest the produce.
On the recent kidnap of 19 persons in Mashegu Local Government Area, Umar said frantic efforts were being made by security agencies to rescue the victims unhurt and solicited for the continuous prayers of Nigerlites and Nigerians at large against enemy forces.