Terrorists and bandits have killed at least 43 people, many of whom were farmers in Sokoto, Katsina and Taraba States.
Daily Trust reports that Bandits gunned down four farmers and abducted 70 others at different villages in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State between Sunday and Monday.
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Our sources revealed that the farmers were attacked while working on their respective farmlands.
A former Chairman of the local government, Idris Danchadi, said 70 farmers were abducted by the assailants.
Giving the breakdown, he said 19 were abducted from Tsamaye village and 11 each in Mazau and Marina villages.
He added that seven children of one Alhaji Malam were abducted from Katume village while eight persons were kidnapped from Garki and Yaradua villages.
Danchadi noted that 15 farmers were abducted from Unguwan Lalle and seven from Dangawo.
He stated that one Kamaje was killed at Tsamaye village and a son of one Alhaji Aiwa was killed at Dangawo.
The member representing Sabon Birni North Local Government Area, Aminu Boza, said that the bandits attacked a bus along Sabon Birnin-Goronyo Road on Monday and abducted all its passengers with the exception of a two-year-old girl. He said the baby had been handed over to the police.
The passengers were mostly women who were said to be returning from a wedding ceremony.
He alleged that the whole of Sabon Birni was under siege.
“We are at the mercy of bandits despite the presence of security operatives in the area. The bandits have stationed themselves at Peke, Dandutsi and Tudunbali from where they attack our villages and we informed the security but nothing is done about it,” he alleged.
However, the Chairman of Sabon Birni Local Government, Umar Danyaro, said that it was not an attack.
“The bandits were returning from Niger Republic with their loots and as usual fired some warning shots while passing through Unguwan Ialle-Tsamaye area and residents of the area were afraid and fled to other villages.
“And I was told that many of them have returned back to their places,” he said
The chairman also denied knowledge of the abduction of women along the Unguwan Lalle axis.
When contacted, the spokesman for the Sokoto Police Command, DSP Sanusi Abubakar, confirmed the incident but declined to give details about it.
However, the spokesman for the 8 Division of the Nigeria Army, Sokoto, Major Yahya Ngulde, could not be reached for comments but a source within the military told Daily Trust that troops were mobilised to Sabon Birni in the early hours of Tuesday.
9 killed in renewed attacks in Katsina
Elsewhere in Katsina, nine people have been reportedly killed and others injured in renewed bandits’ attacks in Faskari, Funtua and Bakori local government areas.
Daily Trust gathered that on Tuesday between 2pm and 3pm, the bandits attacked Ruwan Godiya in Faskari LGA and killed six people and wounded four others.
In a similar incident, the bandits on the same day between 10pm and 11pm went to Kadirawa village in the Tafoki area of Faskari LGA, rustled an unspecified number of cattle and carted away two motorcycles.
One of the residents who fled to Funtua, Alhaji Kabo, said the bandits in the process killed one Abdulazeez Haruna, 30.
Our reporter also gathered that about a week ago, Gandun Sarki, a Fulani settlement in Bakori LGA, was attacked where two men were shot dead and a married woman abducted.
Locals said the abductors had reached out to them and demanded N2 million ransom for the woman.
“They also asked four Fulani settlements to pay N2,000,000 each as tax to forestall further attacks on their settlements,” a resident who pleaded anonymity said.
In another incident, bandits in the early hours of Wednesday stormed the residence of one Aliyu Muazu at Jabiri, a suburb of Funtua town, and forced their way into his house by breaking four doors.
“They came around 1am shooting in the air and laid siege in my street before they forced their way into my house obviously with the intent to abduct me or my family. They spent over an hour in the house but policemen from the Funtua division intervened.”
The recent developments have renewed fear among farmers in the affected LGAs.
Sani Garba, a resident of Funtua, said they were finding it difficult to send labourers to their remote farms as no one would want to fall victim to the bandits operating with impunity in the areas.
When contacted, the police spokesman in Katsina, SP Gambo Isah, confirmed that six people were killed in Ruwan Godiya village while the police in the early hours of Wednesday foiled a kidnapping at Jabri.
Terrorists’ attack in Taraba
Also, a member representing Takum/Donga/Ussa/Yangtu SDA Federal Constituency of Taraba State in the House of Representatives, Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum, has said over 30 people had been killed by terrorists in his constituency in the last one week with over 20,000 others displaced.
He spoke on Wednesday at the plenary while moving a motion of urgent importance on the urgent need to prevent terrorists from overrunning Ussa LGA of Taraba State.
He told the House that the terrorists who murdered six soldiers of the 93 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State some time ago had continued their destruction of settlements in Takum and Ussa LGAs.
Shawulu said communities affected by the attacks include Basank, Muji 1, Muji 2, Fawen, Tati, Flashin, Rikwen Tumu, Rikwen cwun, Tswen 1, Tswen 2, Kando, Kasiten, Kpashi, Shimta, Kwaben, Mbiya, Kakum, Tukok, Gaba and Mbafobani.
He said killings and destructions in his constituency had become a daily occurrence.
He said the appeals of the communities and several patriotic resolutions of the House for a stronger intervention by both the state and federal government had gone largely unheeded.
The House in its resolution urged the military to deploy more troops in the area to dislodge the terrorists and restore normalcy.
It urged the intelligence agencies and the operational security agencies to identify the routes and camps of the terrorists and their local collaborators to bring them to book.
The House also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other organisations to intervene in providing relief materials to the more than 20,000 persons who had become refugees in their own communities.
It mandated the committees on Defence, National Intelligence and Human Rights to interface with the Armed Forces to ensure compliance and report back within 14 days for further legislative action.
Police deny kidnapping of 10 officers in Kogi
Meanwhile, the Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, has debunked the news making the rounds that 10 police officers were allegedly kidnapped while returning from election duties in Osun State.
He said the police officers had been accounted for by the command, confirming that the convoy of the officers was actually attacked by the bandits on Sunday but none of them was kidnapped.
He added that when the said police officers were attacked all of them escaped into the bush to avoid being kidnapped.
Egbuka stated further that when the dust settled down, all the 10 officers alleged to have been kidnapped returned from their hideout and rejoined their colleagues in Nasarawa State.
Also, the Police Public Relations Officer in Nasarawa, DSP Ramhan Nansel, told Daily Trust that all their men that went on election duties had returned.
“All our men that were deployed to monitor the election have returned to Nasarawa State successfully without any hiccups,” he said.
By Itodo D. Sule (Abuja), Abubakar Auwal (Sokoto), Tijjani Ibrahim, Mahmoud Idris (Katsina), Tijani Labaran (Lokoja) & Umar Muhammed (Lafia)