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Bauchi community decries neglect by governor, elected officials despite repeated attacks

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…Says two killed; pregnant woman, three others abducted in one month

A local settlement in Bauchi State, under the umbrella body of Concerned Citizens of Birshin Fulani Community, has frowned at the neglect of political office holders despite repeated attacks.

The community, in a release issued on Sunday by Abdulhamid Jibrin Birshi, particularly identified Governor Bala Mohammed, State Assembly lawmaker Danlami Kawule, the federal lawmaker Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi and the Senate member representing their constituency Lawal Yaya Gumau as officials that had failed them.

Birshi said at least two persons were killed and four others abducted, including a pregnant woman whose husband works in African Independent Television (AIT). All the incidents, he emphasised, occurred within the month of September.

He criticised the failure of the accused officials from visiting the community to sympathise with relatives of the affected persons, describing the neglect as unpatriotic as the locals were only remembered during the electioneering period.

“This show of ‘I don’t care attitude’ is highly unfortunate and regrettable.”

“From the member of the State House of Assembly, Danlami Kawule to the House of Reps, Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, to the Senate member Lawal Yaya Gumau and down to the Governor of Bauchi State, we did not see any concrete support from you people to help us move out of the current security limbo we are in as a community,” Birshi stated. “…this show of unpatriotism and lack of empathy by these leaders across the cadres mentioned is a further reminder that we are on our own when tragedy befalls us.”

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Speaking further, Birshi recalled that on September 9, 2021, unknown gunmen attacked the community, “killed a staff of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi and his neighbour who was resisting being kidnapped by the gunmen.

“The kidnappers, after killing the Imam, abducted his son and one other individual and only release them after a heavy ransom was paid.

“Few days after the first incident, the gunmen struck again, shot sporadically to scare residents and abducted two more people.

“In another incident, which is the third, the kidnappers stormed the community and kidnapped another individual; the fourth and the latest incident happened on Thursday, September 17th, where they ransacked the community, kidnapped the wife of an AIT staff whose pregnancy is eight months old, making it the fourth in less than two weeks.

“In total, the kidnappers have killed two people and abducted four.”

The entire country has suffered poor state of security. It is worse in the North-East and North-West, where the country has recorded over a decade of insurgency.

Kidnapping of students has also become the new normal amid the recent attack on the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna State.

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On Wednesday, September 15, bandits abducted  Emir of Bungudu Hassan Atto, and other victims on the Kaduna – Abuja highway. A policeman was killed.

The community, however,  has continued to complain over the reccurring incidents of kidnapping.

It was gathered that repeated pleas from the husband of the kidnapped victim forced the kidnappers to reduce the ransom to N45 million, yet he was given 24 hours to present the money or the pregnant wife would be shot dead.

Similar kidnap incidents, according to the statement, almost happened in Anguwar Kanawa, a neighbouring village, but for the swift intervention of local vigilante groups.

“A report reaching us this morning is that our neighbours, Anguwar Kanawa, just a few metres away from us were equally attacked by the same gunmen. It took members of the vigilante several hours before they were able to repel the gunmen,” the statement read further.

“These incessant incidences of kidnapping, by a gang of 10 AK 47 carrying gunmen seemed to have defied solution.”

“None of our elected officer holders finds it worthy to either sympathize with us or help take concrete measures that will guarantee our safety and security from the killer gunmen who find pleasure in destroying our hard-earned peace.

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“As we speak at the moment, several wealthy individuals have started deserting our community and scampering for safety in different places, to evade the kidnappers.

“Many of our residents now sleep in the bush out of fear of the unknown, because the gunmen can strike any moment knowing full well that there are no measures on the ground to repel them when they come.

“But we want to remind these leaders across all the cadres mentioned earlier, that power is transient; any position you are occupying today have once been occupied by someone, and today history has pushed them aside.

“You will also leave those positions someday, and history will continue to judge your actions or inactions while in a position of power.”

Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Email address: [email protected] Twitter handle: @OluAdanikin

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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