Residents of Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State have alleged that accomplices of bandits are smuggling petroleum products in tankers to bandits in the LGA where the sale of petrol in jerrycans have been banned as part of security measures to strangulate the activities of bandits.
Residents said a suspicious petrol tanker was deliberately sidetracked into a small ditch to make it appear like an accident near Kirago, in Birnin Gwari, adding that bandits have, since Sunday, besieged the area to scoop petrol.
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Ibrahim Halliru, a resident of Birnin Gwari, said the petrol tanker had tried to follow the Birnin Gwari-Funtua highway and had ignored all attempts by vigilantes and residents to stop it.
“We were trying to let the driver know that there is no road between Birnin Gwari and Funtua because it is a bandits’ den but he ignored us. Our vigilante had to pursue them but on getting to Maganda, it was observed that they were intercepted by security agents who asked them to turn back.”
Hamza Saidu, also of Birni Gwari, said a day later, the tanker was said to have deliberately sidetracked into a small ditch, giving access to bandits to scoop petrol unhindered. “The driver is nowhere to be found but the tanker is still there and the bandits have been scooping petrol from the tanker since Sunday,” he said.
The Kaduna State Police Command through the PRO, ASP Mohammed Jalige, when contacted, expressed disappointment that residents had failed to report the matter to security agents but assured that the matter would be investigated.