By Laleye Dipo
Fear has enveloped residents of some villages in the Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State as bandits have adopted a new tactic of extorting villagers.
The investigation revealed that to stop their being attacked and their property looted, the bandits now extort the villagers.
It was learnt that not less than N5million is being demanded by the bandits on monthly basis to stop the invasion of the communities.
The negotiation according to the findings, is usually done through an intermediary who lives among the villagers who the bandits can also trust.
The Iburu, Gamudu, Nasa, Nmachiko, Dnasafa, Jhazhayidna, and Galafe communities in the local government it was learnt, paid N3million through one intermediary last November to guarantee their safety, it was learnt.
It was gathered that the bandits are insisting that the balance must be paid and the money for December paid at a time.
One of the community leaders who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “The bandits did not attack us in November but they have vowed to wipe us out if we do not pay the balance and the money for November and December”.
The community leader said villagers are now moving out of the area for fear of attack because they don’t have the money to pay.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer for the Niger State Police Command, Wasiu Abiodun, said: “It is a piece of information which we will verify and take necessary action.”