Armed bandits have cut off fuel supply to Dansadau town and other neighbouring communities after they intercepted and set ablaze an oil tanker along Gusau-Dansadau road.
The fuel tanker was among dozens of other vehicles being escorted to Dansadau on Tuesday by security operatives on board an armoured personnel carrier when suddenly the armed criminals opened fire on the tanker triggering huge flames.
The owner of the tanker Alhaji Yau Muhammad Dansadau told Daily Trust the vehicle was carrying fuel from the NNPC depot in Gusau to supply a filling station in the community to address the acute fuel shortage following the closure of other filing stations.
“The whereabouts of the driver and one other person onboard the vehicle is unknown. They may be kidnapped. The fear is that there is going to be acute shortage of fuel very soon. Motorcycles, vehicles and other machines using petrol will soon stop,” he said.
As I am told, the fuel tanker was not only the vehicle attacked, several other motorists jumped out of their vehicles and scampered to safety despite the fact that the attackers were engaged in a firefight by the police escort.
No vehicle can ply that road without escort, dozens of people especially local traders and commercial drivers have been killed or kidnapped along that 100 km road that is in a very terrible condition.
The attack is precisely occurring at a very dangerous spot called Mashayar Zaki just few kilometers to reach Dansadau. The armed men are lurking around the area to attack every moving vehicle,” Yau said.
The armed men have vowed to cut off supply of essential commodities to Dansadau after they were put under intense pressure following closure of community markets and stoppage of supply chain for groceries, food and soft drinks to them in the forest.
The Dansandau issue
Bandits have been especially active in Dansadau over past months.
They increasingly heightened attacks after security efforts to bring them under control.
A former Zamfara senator Saidu Dansadau said bandits were scaling up attacks on Dansadau community to protest the suspension of Emir Hussaini Umar, accused of involvement in banditry.
Umar was suspended in June by the state government on grounds of involvement in banditry.
Dansadau, who represented Zamfara central from 1999 to 2007, told Daily Trust on phone that the spike in attacks on the community shows the suspended emir was complicit in the attacks and cattle rustling by bandits.
This week saw increasing tension in parts of Dansadau Emirate as a result of the activities of an armed group that has been confronting bandits.
Members of the group were spotted on motorbikes at Dandalla community last Friday.