No fewer than 29 persons have been killed in an attack on Gana and Rampas communities in Zamfara State by bandits.
The bandits were said to have rustled about 700 cows and over 200 camels in the affected communities, just as residents of five villages have deserted the communities.
In a BBC Hausa Service report monitored by our correspondents yesterday in Kaduna, one Naomi Yakubu, a mother of one of the students who was shot during the recent Yauri attack, said her 18-year-old son, a final year student in the college, fell victim of the bandits’ bullet while he was carrying some primary school pupils to safety.
Naomi noted that her son survived by the will of Almighty Allah because a lot of blood gushed out of his body.
“He is in SS3; he was running while carrying the primary school children. It was in that process that they shot him from the rear. When he fell down, the bandits put him in their vehicle to go with him. But they saw blood gushing out of his body and decided to drop him. They pushed him down.
“He is getting better, he is in the hands of people with the doctors, because of the blood coming out, one teacher quickly carried him and ran away with him,” she said.
A source told the BBC Hausa that three students have died so far, 2 females and a male.
According to the report, one of the female students was asthmatic, as her father had said but the male student died from gunshots.
The report said the bandits sacked about five villages in Anka and Bukuyum communities of Zamfara State.
According to the report, about 29 locals were killed by the bandits who rustled their livestock and stole farm produce, leading to mass exodus from the communities.
Abubakar Mai Inji, a resident of Tungan Rogo who has since moved to another area, said the bandits chased out residents of five villages in Bukuyum and Anka axis.
“The places have been deserted; we’ve been in a state of fear and confusion. We are now in Nasarawa, no food, we are hungry. They killed 29 of our people, drove our cattle away and packed our food,” he said.
Another local who sought anonymity told the BBC that the bandits came on bikes numbering about 300, each carrying three bandits wielding dangerous weapons.
“They were shooting sporadically, they blocked the road, crossed over to Gana and Rampashi where they rustled cattle, about 700 and over 200 camels,” he said.
When contacted, the police spokesman in Zamfara State, Mohammed Shehu, told the BBC that they were yet to get the information but would investigate it.
Angry Youths Protest Killings, Abduction, Block Abuja- Kaduna Highway
Meanwhile, against the backdrop of persistent kidnapping and killing of innocent persons along villages in the Abuja-Kaduna highway, youths in their numbers blocked the road yesterday, calling on the government to put a stop to the killings and abductions.
The protest which commenced very early in the morning lasted for hours, as the youths used different objects to block the road, causing a heavy gridlock.
According to a competent source, about 10 or more persons have been killed while no fewer than 60 persons have been kidnapped by the bandits along the road within one week.
He said, “Killing and kidnapping have become a daily occurrence in our area and it seems as if nothing is being done about it because they come at will and carry out their nefarious activities.
“In villages that make up Kakau ward in Chikun local government area, we can hardly sleep with our two eyes closed because of the unknown. Within the past one week, more than 10 persons have been killed and about 60 people have been kidnapped and the bandits have not relented in their kidnapping activities.
“Since it seems as if the government is not ready to protect us, we are here to show how angry we are and to let the whole world know our pathetic situation.”
In May this year, the youths had also blocked the Abuja -Kaduna expressway in protest of kidnapping and killings.
Kaduna State Police Command yesterday deployed their men to restore law and order in the area and prevent the protest from degenerating into violence.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Kaduna, ASP Mohammed Jalige, said the Area Commander has been directed to restore law and order in the area.
“We are trying to ensure that the road is opened to allow road users access. We are meeting the community leaders and the protesting youths to discuss the problem. There is an incident along the highway but we are trying to control the situation,” he said.
Following recurring blockage of highway particularly Abuja-Kaduna Highway to demand an end to Kidnapping and killings, the Kaduna Police Command said the best way is police community engagement and not blocking the highway thereby causing untold hardship to others.
The Command said it will not hesitate to deal with violators according to extant laws going forward, even as it called on citizens to follow due process in seeking solutions to the situation.
A statement issued last night by ASP Jalige to this effect noted: “The Kaduna Police Command is using this medium to state that it is becoming very worrisome to the Command and other sister security agencies, the incessant blockade of the State’s connecting highways by various interest groups in the name of protest without observing due process”.
He however said that the Command was not unmindful of the security challenges faced by various communities in the state, occasioned by rising cases of armed banditry and kidnapping which the top management and government are doing everything possible to restore normalcy to the affected areas.
He maintained that it was necessary to be on the same page with all stakeholders and affected communities to ensure that the enemies of the state are defeated rather than working unilaterally by opposing one another, since particular challenges cannot be adequately tackled by creating additional challenges.
“The Command however, is perturbed with the recent activities of some communities engaging in protest and the untoward blocking of highways with its attendant troubles for innocent commuters. Such will not be tolerated and the acts will be viewed seriously according to extant laws of the land.
“The Command is working round the clock to ensure that normalcy is restored and would not fold its hands to be distracted in as much as protest cannot be seen as the solution to the current situation.
“The Command is therefore advising all interest groups and communities to always go through appropriate channels with their grievances as the Command’s door is always open to complaints and other security related issues from all quarters whereas insecurity is localized and the best approach to tackling it is by Police community engagement,” the police spokesman stated.