© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Travail of victims of Zamfara attack
By Mustapha Kaita
SHUKRANA Ibrahim, one of the victims of the attack in Zamfara State is taking refuge in an IDP camp in Kankara local government area of Katsina state.
Though Ibrahim is temporarily safe in his new settlement, he is ill and therefore taking medication.
Nearly 3,000 people have been killed in Zamfara State by bandits in the last two years, with over N1.2 billion paid as ransom to secure the release of residents abducted during the period, according to public statistics.
Over 600 villages and towns have been sacked by the bandits causing residents to flee to neighbouring states such as Katsina and Kebbi.
A large quantity of farm produce was also destroyed, just as 13,800 heads of cattle, 11,000 sheep and goats were rustled. The bandits also carted away over 2,400 motorcycles.
“We are more than 3000 that fled from our villages living in this camp. We have also heard that the bandits are currently re-organising in the bush in order to attack us again.”
Ibrahim is not the only one with the tale of sorrow. Malam Abdullahi, a village head from one of the remote villages of Zurmi local government area of Zamfara State is also taking refuge with his people and other refugees from 17 villages in a secondary school in Zurmi local government.
According to him, more than 250 people were killed in his village alone. He was shot in the hand before he found an escape way to the camp for the displaced.
We are more than 20,000 in this camp, the people you are seeing here are not all of us, we have some of them inside town, so far over 250 have been killed in my village, the people you are seeing here are from 17 villages, we are living in pain here, many of us didn’t have even transport fare to take us to this camp when we were coming here, the government is not helping us, we have not seen anything yet from the government.”
A human right activist, Dr Sulieman Shuaibu Shinkafi from Zamfara State and a senior member of Amnesty International blamed the government for neglecting their primary duty of protecting the people. The dereliction, he explained, “is why the bandits in Zamfara are still operating day and night killing innocent citizens.”
Emir of Anka Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad Anka has therefore called on the government to curb the crises.
“We have been pushed to the wall, and we all know where the fault is, security agencies do not belong to the state, they belong to the federation if they cannot help us let them allow us to seek help from United Nations. We have security agents but they are not sufficient.
“This is an embarrassment to us because the minister of defence is from Zamfara state and the president also loves the people of Zamfara state, but why is this happening? Let them come and investigate and reveal the truth to the public.
“If people are saying that the crisis in Zamfara is about farmers and herders clashes they are not fair to us. The problem we are facing in Zamfara is the issue of bandits who kill people and steal from them and terrorise villages.”
Meanwhile, the commissioner of police Zamfara State has outlined the success they had in the fight against the bandits in Zamfara State, but not many residents are yet to see the success.