Malama Fatima Randagi was in tears while narrating how she and her 11 children joined other family members to escape a deadly assault on Randagi village last week. Armed bandits had raided the community, killing anyone in sight.
“We trekked for hours at night from Randagi to Gagumi with my 11 children and other women from the village. It was a terrible experience, we left our foodstuff, animals and other belongings to escape,” she said.
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Fatima, a resident of Randagi village who is now taking refuge at a relation’s home in Birnin Gwari town, said they trekked for two days before reaching safety.
In an attempt to escape the same attack, ex- correctional officer, Muhammadu Gagare, lost three of his children while two of his wives and four children were abducted. Gagare told our correspondent that his wives and children are still with the bandits who are demanding a N20 million as ransom.
“They knew my three children were killed and yet they are calling to demand for N20-million as ransom,” he said.
Arewa Trust Weekly reports that since last week’s attack, Randagi and surrounding communities have become ghost towns as residents have fled for safer communities such as Birnin Gwari town, Dogon Dawa and Zaria city.
Shehu Muktar, a resident, told our correspondent that Ukuru, Galma and Wamba villages, with approximately a population of 40,000, have now been deserted.
“As we speak, there are 27 people mostly women and children living in my house in Birnin Gwari,’’ said Shehu Muktar.
He appealed to the state government to deploy more security personnel to the area to tackle the bandits, adding that the presence of the soldiers or other security operatives will encourage residents to return to their homes.
Another resident told our correspondent that his two wives, 13 children and his aged parents are presently taking refuge with his relatives in Birnin Gwari.
“About 20 of us fled Randagi because there was no food and everyone was leaving for fear that the bandits may return,” he said.
The councillor representing the area, Yahaya Adamu Dawakin Basa, confirmed the development but said normalcy was gradually returning to the area.
“I shed tears when I saw our people leaving their homes in numbers, especially the women and children,” he said.
He added that because a few soldiers deployed to the area spent a night at the village, some of the residents had the courage to return briefly to assess the level of damage done to their homes.
Kaduna State government has explained that measures have been taken to protect the citizens and secure the villages.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, stated that air missions have been carried out on several communities and adjoining settlements, revealing that bandits were sighted at different locations within Unguwar Gajere, where 10 persons were recently killed.