Mon. May 20th, 2024

•Multiple sources said Nasarawar Mai Fara in Tsafe local government was attacked over the failure of the residents to pay a N40 million levy imposed by the bandits.
By EONS Int and Mohammed Babangida (PT)

The right to freedom of movement which is bestowed on every citizen lawfully residing in a country to freely move within the country has become as alien as it is an illusionary privilege for residents of Zamfara State. 

Though it is always said that “what has a beginning must definitely have an end”. Unfortunately, this statement seems alien for residents of Zamfara State as their daily lives are inundated with fear of even their shadows.

The last few months have witnessed such a spike in abductions, massacres, cattle rustling and arson, giving rise to the notion that terrorists may have made the state their safe haven.

Though information is rife that the President’s botched visit to the State last month was due to “bad weather”, many, however, believe it may not be unconnected with the attendant fear shrouding every nook and cranny in the state for which the citizens grapple in fear

Several communities including Tofa Magami Road, Rijiya, Karazau, Yar Tsakkuwa and Gidan Kaura communities in Gusau Local Government Area have become particularly notorious for these unabated terrorist attacks.

Notable among these incidents include the killing of seven policemen on Monday, November 8 during a Police patrol where the patrol vehicles were also set ablaze.

In addition, reports of over seven people killed and 33 abducted on December 26, 2021, in Geba, Kura, Duma, Gana, Tsakkuwa, Gidan Kada and Gidan Kaura communities abide.

Last month, no fewer than 200 people were killed and over 10,000 displaced by revenge-seeking terror-bandits in the North-Western State, following military air raids on their hideouts on January 4, 2022. Confirming the incidents, Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs said over 200 bodies were buried.

The disturbing news of at least 30 people killed and several others, mostly soft targets and vulnerable women abducted on Friday still remains among one of the bitter pills to swallow unleashed in the litany of mayhem plaguing the state.

The attacked communities which include Nasarawar Mai Fara in Tsafe Local Government Area, Yar Katsina in Bungudu Local Government Area and Nasarawa village in Bakura Local Government Area goes further to confirm that no local government in the state is spared of this daily brutality.

Not that attacks are foreign in the state, however, the complexity with the most recent attack which was said to be due to the failure of residents to pay N40million levy imposed by Ada Aleru, a notorious banditry kingpin operating in the area and the Fasakari axis raises the critical question: “Are taxes paid to government become incapable of providing citizens with requisite protection of lives and property?

“Should citizens therefore re-channel payment of taxes to a group (terror) whose accountability is flawless and precise as to spare the lives of those who honour their imposition of levies and kill those who do not?.

The questions may have been premised on the basis that trend analysis has shown that not only may it be difficult for the government to accurately render accountability of all taxes paid, but the untold pain and penury suffered daily by residents has also reached a crescendo that if the available is no longer feasible, the feasible becomes available. 

Statistics further confirm the heightened attacks as reported incidents have shown that over 500 innocent lives were abruptly eliminated by terrorists between November 2021 to date.

It is within the above context that this report commends the records of success recorded thus far, and also add the following suggestions as a means of ameliorating the security crisis plaguing the state:

– Strategic alliance and collaborative efforts with local security groups/bodies such as Vigilantes and enhance human intelligence.

– Training of volunteered youths on basic Military strategies such as self-defence, rescue operations among others.

– Deployment of enhanced Military troops to the State and simultaneous offensives at identified strategic locations. This will ensure that fleeing terrorists are caught off-guard and neutralized by bombardments going in identified enclaves at the same time.

– Government should in addition embrace the use of disruptive technological approaches in their counter-terrorism fight.

Bandits attack Zamfara community for failing to pay N40 million levy, kill 33 people – Residents

Bandits have killed at least 30 people, abducted several others, mostly women, in separate attacks Friday afternoon in Zamfara State.

The attacked communities are Nasarawar Mai Fara in Tsafe local government area, Yar Katsina in Bungudu local government area and Nasarawa village in Bakura local government area.

Zamfara, like many of the Nigerian Northwest states, is beleaguered by insecurity in the forms of kidnapping described as banditry. The crime has become rampant and the bandits are seemingly irrepressible.

Thousands of people have been killed or kidnapped by the bandits in the region and extending to Niger State, since 2021. In the first three weeks of 2022, at least 486 people were killed by non-state actors across Nigeria, over half of them by bandits in the North-west and Niger State.

20 killed after failing to pay levy

Multiple sources told PREMIUM TIMES that the attack on Nasarawar Mai Fara in Tsafe local government was due to the failure of the residents to pay a N40 million levy imposed by the bandits.

The levy was imposed by Ada Aleru, a notorious banditry kingpin operating in the area and the Faskari part of Katsina State.

Abubakar Bala, a resident of Tsafe, said residents could not pay the levy, hence the attack.

Mr Balarabe, who has covered conflict for a local radio station and Thunder Blowers Online, said 20 people had been confirmed dead as of Friday evening.

Chief Imam killed

In Bakura area, a health worker, Masud Kyambarawa, told PREMIUM TIMES that three people, including the chief imam of the area, Akilu Dan Malam, were killed.

He said, “I was in the town yesterday when the shooting started. We went for a survey. We had to rush to a neighbouring village in Rabah of Sokoto State. It was an unpleasant experience. People, especially women and children, were running into the bush for their lives. Alhamdulillah, we are back now safely but I heard that three people were killed.”

In Yar Katsina village of Bungudu, the bandits stopped people from attending the Muslims’ Jumu’at prayers.

A source, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told this reporter that when the bandits stormed the village, people were already at the only Jumu’at mosque but dispersed immediately.

Abdul Balarabe, a local journalist in Gusau, said at least 10 people were killed in the attack.

“Ten bodies have been recovered so far and several other people are still missing. Residents are saying they don’t know whether those still missing were kidnapped or not. The bandits entered the village during Jumu’at prayers,” Mr Balarabe said.

Mr Bala of Tsafe lamented the increasing number of attacks on villages and abduction of motorists on the Funtua – Gusau highway.

“The dangerous spots are Sheme to Yankara and the axis around Kucheri, a few metres before Tsafe,” he said.

The state police command spokesperson, Mohammed Shehu, promised to verify the information and get back to this reporter but had not done that as of the time of filing this report.

Credits | EONS intelligence/Premium Times

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