Commuters were on Friday stranded along Gusau-Sokoto highway after hundreds of residents protesting renewed bandit attacks blocked the road to demand that troops be deployed to their communities.
The protesters, mostly from Bingi and other surrounding villages in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, had cut branches from trees and blocked the road forcing some of the travellers to make u-turn.
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Some of the protesters including women and children with their belongings said they decided to flee their communities after security operatives were withdrawn exposing them to risk of attacks by armed criminals.
“In recent days, there was an upsurge in attacks by suspected bandits on our communities when they learnt that the security formation had been dismantled.
“More than a dozen communities have been sacked following the brutal attacks by the armed men.
“We will not return to our communities until the security operatives are deployed again.
“Have they forgotten that we are in troubled parts of the state? Mass abductions and killings are occurring almost on daily basis”
“The authorities should not only redeploy the security personnel to our communities but also increase their number.
“The armed men are riding to our communities in large numbers. Therefore there must be a proportionate number of operatives to counter them,” a resident Ali Hussaini said
The spokesman of the state police command SP Muhammad Shehu could not be reached for comment at the time of filing this report.