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Banditry: Over 140 communities deserted in Kaduna 

There are at least over 100 communities that have been displaced in Kaduna State following years of attacks across communities affected by banditry, as well…

There are at least over 100 communities that have been displaced in Kaduna State following years of attacks across communities affected by banditry, as well as due to the state’s multi-layered ethnoreligious and farmer/herder conflicts that have lasted for decades.  

A December 2020 report published by Daily Trust sampled about 143 villages in seven local government areas of Zangon Kataf, Kauru, Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Giwa, Igabi and Kajuru, which were sacked.

A breakdown of the figure shows that 16 communities had been sacked in Chikun Local Government, including Unguwan Rahama, Tarugu, Badayi and Dakwala, while five communities, including Nasarawan Sabon Sara, Hayin Kobo, Rafin Kaji and Marke had been saked in Giwa Local Government.

In Kajuru, 26 villages, amongst them Itsi, Mashingin and Pushu have been deserted; and in Birnin Gwari, 60 villages, including Tsiron Gwari, Madama, Gaban Falagi and Goran Dutse are now ghost communities. Kauru Local Government Area has Kiztin and Kitsarapang communities deserted, while Zangon Kataf has Kurmin Gandu and Gidan Zaki as deserted. In Kachia, as many as 32 communities, including Chikwale, Idum and Muruchi were deserted.

Confirming the data from Birnin Gwari, the Birnin Gwari Emirate Progressives Union (BEPU) said that in the local government area alone, about 60 villages were sacked by bandits as at 2021. The chairman of the union, Salisu Haruna, a lawyer, said, “No human being lives there. The people from those villages, who are largely farmers, have been forcefully sent on exile by bandits.”

Daily Trust Saturday reports that as at March 1, 2022, official records of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) shows that at least 145 communities scattered in six local government areas had been displaced.

The president of the SOKAPU, Jonathan Asake, said 28 communities, including Kihoro-Libere, Bakin Kogi, Umiko, Magunguna and Idazo, had been sacked in Kajuru Local Government, while 33 communities, including Chikwale, Idum, Muruchi and Kwasau Legede were displaced in Kachia.

Asake said 45 communities had been sacked in Chikun Local Government, while eight were sacked in Kaura and nine in Kauru, while Zangon Kataf had 22 displaced villages. He, however, said efforts had been made by some of the displaced persons to return to their communities, and cited examples with Idazo, Unguwan Shaba and Magunguna villages in Kajuru Local Government, where some residents returned to clear their farms.

However, records provided by the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) shows that only 52 communities were sacked by bandits in six local government areas from 2021 till date. Although the SEMA could not provide an aggregate figure of deserted communities prior to 2021, its executive secretary, Muhammed Mu’azu Mukaddas, told Daily Trust Saturday that 52 communities reflected communities where the agency conducted assessments. Mukaddas said there were other areas the agency could not assess due to insecurity.

Based on the agency’s data, only one community was sacked in Giwa Local Government, three in Birnin Gwari and four in Kajuru, as at 2021. It stated that one community had also been sacked in Chikun and seven others in Igabi and 26 communities sacked in Zangon Kataf, within the same year.

In 2022, the agency stated that 21 communities were displaced in four local government areas, with Kajuru having two, Birnin Gwari, 16, Zongon Kataf, one and Kaura, two.

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