After Zamfara govt rejection of a peace pact,bandits kill 49 in 5 days

No fewer than 49 persons have been reported killed by bandits during a five-day-long operation in Zamfara State.


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The deceased, according to residents, were killed in five affected villages in Anka Local Government Area of Zamfara State from Tuesday to Saturday.

According to the locals, 18 persons were killed in Farar-Kasa village; 22 in Dangulbi, two in Duhuwa, four in Tsatsomawa and three others in Yar Sabaya villages respectively.

A resident of Anka town, Malam Idris Anka (not real name) said the bandits have been attacking communities in the local government since the beginning of this week.

He said, “Banditry has become a daily affair in this part of Zamfara state. To be honest with you, we are tired of this menace. The bandits are operating as if we do not have a government in this country. These people are almost everything in our communities; they are the police, the traditional rulers and the community leaders.

“They can attack any community at will, place levy on any community they so wish and abduct anybody in any community and nobody has the right to say no whatever directives they give.”

Another resident, who doesn’t want to be named, said he narrowly escaped the bandits along Anka-Bagega road today (Saturday), saying “two bandits in military uniform erected an illegal check-point along the road today (yesterday) robbing road users.

Mallam Bello Muhammad, a commercial driver, appealed to both the federal and state governments to come to their aid by providing enough security personnel to the area, as according to him non-presence of security is aiding banditry in the local government.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Zamfara State Command, ASP Yazid Abubakar promised to contact the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Anka Division for details; however, he neither called back this reporter nor answered several calls put to him.

Meanwhile, the Zamfara State Government has rejected an alleged move by the federal government for a peace pact with bandits in the state.

The Commissioner for Information, Manir Haidara, who reiterated the government’s stand, confirmed the kidnapping of farmers and the killing of a respected Islamic cleric to The PUNCH in a recent telephone interview.

His reaction came after some recent media reports indicated that bandits attacked two farming communities in the state – Maradun and Bil Bis in Tsafe LGA, where they allegedly kidnapped at least 30 farmers and killed the highly respected Islamic cleric on Thursday.

Haidara disclosed that efforts were already in place to rescue all the kidnapped victims.

The Islamic scholar, Mallam Makwashi Mai Jan Baki, along with one other person, were said to have been killed in Maradun town and two of the cleric’s children were still reported to be missing after the attack.

“The Zamfara State Government cannot negotiate with bandits. What is between the state government and the bandits is an exchange of fire. Zamfara will never give room for negotiation with criminals terrorising our communities.

“We are doing our best to ensure we reduce their activities. This banditry thing started 13 years ago, but we’re hopeful we’ll curtail them,” the information commissioner told The PUNCH.

Attacks by bandits in Zamfara communities have raged over the years, continually posing threats to communities and food security as farmers fear to go to farms.

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