Suspected armed bandits on Wednesday killed at least 45 people during deadly raids on six communities in Zamfara State.
Dozens of people including women and children are reportedly missing while houses, shops as well as private and public buildings have been burnt by the assailants.
Akelicious reports that the communities are in Magami District of Gusau Local Government Area.
These are: ‘Yar Doka, Kango, Ruwan Dawa, Madaba, Arzikin Da and Mairairai. Residents said armed men first laid siege on ‘Yar Doka village on motorbikes and short any one at sight. The village is about 7 km west of Magami town.
“The whereabouts of dozens of residents who escaped the siege is still unknown,” one of the traumatized residents, said.
It was learnt that from ‘Yar Doka, the attackers proceeded to another village called Kango and shot dead at least 11 people. A resident, Halliru Bala, said the armed men also killed thirteen people in Ruwan Dawa community along Gusau – Dansadau road. The village is 58 km south of Gusau, the state capital.
“They also shot dead seven people at Madaba, two at Mairairai and five people at Arzikin Da communities.
“As I am talking to you, the seven bodies of the slain residents had already been brought to Magami town and they would be buried this evening immediately after Iftar,” he said. Bala said most those killed were the people who had gone to offer help to the communities under attack.
“You know, people in rural communities hardly look the other way when ever their neighbours are under attack,” he said.
Our correspondent reports that residents of ‘Yar Doka community had deserted their homes after a deadly attack by the armed men some months ago but were assaulted again just a day after they returned.
Another resident who gave his name as Babangida, said: “The bandits attacked the community and burnt their food stores. The residents had to take shelter in Magami. They decided to return but unknown to them, the armed criminals were planning to attack them again.
“The assailants moved from one village to another. I saw injured residents being conveyed to a medical facility. The vigilantes known as ‘Yan Sakai had gone to Yar Doka community to repel the attack but were forced to return by the superior firepower of the attackers,” he said.
When contacted, the spokesman of Zamfara State Police Command, SP Muhammad Shehu, said: “Give me time, I will get back to you.”
He did not respond up till the time of filing this report. Also, repeated calls to Zamfara Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran, did not respond to repeated calls last night.
However, in a statement last night, the state Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara only spoke on separate attacks launched by bandits on Tuesday.
“Following simultaneous attacks by recalcitrant bandits on Gobirawa, Gora, Rini and Madoti Dankule villages of Maradun and Bakura Local Government Areas of the State on Tuesday 20th April, 2021 leading to the loss of lives of innocent members of the above mentioned communities, the state government under the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawallen Maradun is saddened by this unfortunate incident and condemned it in strongest terms.
“The government also condoled with the families of those who lost their lives in the sad event and is taking every necessary steps to ensure that the culprits are brought to book.
“As part of the government concern and care about the lives and welfare of the people, it constituted a high powered delegation under the leadership of the Speaker, Zamfara State House of Assembly, Nasiru Mu’azu Magarya to visit the affected communities to pay the state government’s condolences and sympathize with the families of the deceased,” the statement said.
Zamfara has been in the news for long because of constant attacks by bandits occasioned by the killing of people especially in the rural communities.
The federal government recently declared Zamfara a no-fly zone, banned mining activities and reportedly deployed additional 6,000 troops to contain criminality in the state. However, many attacks have been launched since the declaration even as the Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, maintained his stand on the need for dialogue with the bandits as a way resolving the protracted insecurity in the state.