Tears flowed Friday when a 30-year-old woman simply identified as Shafa’atu who survived Monday’s bandits’ attack on a commercial vehicle heading to Kaduna State from Sokoto narrated what happened.
The woman also died shortly after speaking to journalists.
Writhing in pain on her hospital bed, she narrated how she watched her mother, four children and three other relatives burn to death.
She said, “They kept firing at our vehicle until it somersaulted three times and burst into flames. Only I and one other passenger miraculously came out of the bus, but the other passenger later died from gunshot injuries.
“I lost my four children, three girls who were grown up and my 10-month-old baby. I watched them, including my mother, maternal uncle, nephew and niece burning to ashes while the attackers were watching with delight.”
According to her, there were 33 elderly persons and many children in the vehicle when it was attacked by the bandits believed to be members of the group of a notorious bandit kingpin, Bello Turji, who has been terrorising some parts of Sokoto.
Shafa’atu, however, could not continue speaking because of the severity of her condition.
Daily Trust learnt that Shafa’atu and her relatives were deserting their area over incessant attacks by bandits when the incident occurred.
Sha’afatu’s uncle, who was looking after her in the hospital, said he participated in the burial of the victims.
He said, “Their remains were brought in two ambulances; we could not differentiate them because they were burnt to ashes. We performed all the funeral rites and buried them according to our religion.”
He explained that Shafa’atu and other members of the family were leaving for Kaduna because of incessant attacks on their communities.
He said, “Initially, she was not part of the plan, but her mother who was my sister, insisted on going with her. That was why she joined them.”
She, too, was buried yesterday.
Daily Trust Saturday further reports that bandits have vowed to stop villagers from deserting their communities because of the levy imposed on them.
It was reliably gathered that the constant attacks on travellers on the Sabon Birni-Isa-Shinkafi Road is part of bandits’ plan to prevent the exodus of villagers.
It would be recalled that bandits imposed levies on over 80 communities in Sabon Birni Local Government Area last month.
A resident of Sabon Birni who spoke on condition of anonymity revealed how the road had been littered with burnt vehicles as a result of bandits’ attacks.