Humanitarian crisis looms in Kebbi State as 16,000 households have been displaced in Zuru Emirate following the spate of banditry in the last six months.
The Head of Zuru Vigilante Volunteers, John Manu, made the disclosure on Sunday while speaking with Daily Trust on phone.
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He said looming crisis of food insecurity in the emirate was eminent, with more than 20,000 farmers from 50 communities hit by the crisis unable to farm this year.
Though, he said in the last 10 days there was no attack in any part of the emirate but argued that there were indications that the banditry crisis would escalate in the emirate following the withdrawal of security agencies from the area.
The withdrawal follows the recent killing of two military personnel and nine policemen, including a DPO, a fortnight ago.
According to him, despite the death of security personnel during the encounter, the bandits suffered heavy casualties, as over 150 bandits were said to have been killed.
“Over 16,000 households have been displaced as a result of the activities of bandits in Zuru Emirate. Sakaba and Dankwa-Sagu Local Government Areas are the worst hit by banditry in the state. Their vulnerability is not unconnected to their proximity to Zamfara and Niger States.
“Humanitarian crisis will be at its peak this year because majority of the displaced persons who are predominantly farmers will not be able to farm this year. When food security is threatened, you can understand the volume of crisis at hand.”
When contacted on the withdrawal of security personnel, the Kebbi State Police Command spokesman, DSP Nafiu Abubakar, said he would get back to this reporter but up to the time of filing this report, there was no response from him.
Also, the Chairman of Kebbi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Sani Dododo, declined comment, saying that he was out of the country.
“I’m not in Kebbi now. I went to Saudi Arabia for Lesser Hajji (UMRA), for the past two weeks,” he said.
Also contacted on phone, the State Commissioner for Information, Rakiya Tanko Ayuba, declined comment, saying “I can’t talk to the press at the moment.”