© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Bandits lay siege on Zamfara communities for days on end, says Salkida
FOR the past seven days, bandits have continued to lay siege on several communities in Zamfara State, reports Ahmad Salkida, a journalist who has a vast knowledge of the security situation in Northern Nigeria.
Salkida said the hoodlums have been terrorising villages, burning down houses and properties, as well as attacking innocent commuters, leaving in their trail tales of anguish and death.
In a Twitter thread, Salkida noted that the bandits also engage in kidnappings and gang-raping of female victims.
“Zamfara in the last 7 days: According to multiple sources, bandits invaded the village of Chabi and killed 9 persons on Wednesday (January 9) night,” Salkida wrote.
“Several villages in Dansadau emirates have come under attack since Monday with scores of villagers killed and abducted.
“On Friday, between Gulbi and Magmi bandits opened fire at several commuters and abducted a pregnant woman amongst others, they are still in captivity.
“Yesterday (Saturday) the villages of Kalale and Kango etc., were attacked, with dozens killed, maimed and abducted.
“Dansadau emirate in Zamfara is currently under siege, it has been in a long while, but the rate of abductions, houses razed and the number of the dead has skyrocketed in the last week, farming and trading activities in the area remain life-threatening.
“Across the state, roads are blocked on a daily basis by the bandits that kill, maim and abduct commuters. Many of the women abducted tell horrific tales of gang rape and later have to endure the stigma that comes with rape and the lose of fortune paid to secure their release.
Salkida noted further that whenever violence drops in a particular area of the state, another area witnesses a rise in violent attacks. “It is obvious the bandits have resorted to a cat and mouse strategy to evade the military as they continue to destroy the lives and properties of one of the poorest people in the world,” he pointed out.
The ICIR tried contacting the Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, but calls to his phone line keep ringing out. Also, a text message to him is yet to be responded to as at the time of this report.
Zamfara has been in the news for a while now as insecurity in the state has risen to an alarming level. Reports have it that armed bandits have taken over the state and are operating with little or no challenge from the security agencies in the country.
Once a team of policemen on patrol were ambushed and wiped out by the dare-devil gangs, but the police authority said only 16 policemen died in the attack
The leadership Nigeria Police Force had on different occasions − in November and December 2018 − said it was deploying a special squad to Zamfara to quell the violence, but it appears their efforts are not yielding the desired result.
According to the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, the deployment of special forces led to the killing of 104 of the bandits, while another 85 were arrested. Similarly, on Friday, January 12, four cattle traders were arrested in Lagos State and paraded by the police on the allegation that they were providing funds for bandits in Zamfara State.
Governor of Zamfara State has said that he was in support for the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the state.