Bandits stopping us from burying our dead – Zamfara residents



Four days after killing at least 12 persons in Daraga, residents of the village  Tuesday said the terrorists have stopped them from evacuating the bodies for burial.

Daraga is in Maru local government area, one of the worst hit locations in the state.

In a special report carried by BBC Hausa Tuesday morning and monitored by Premium Times, residents said they could not bury their dead because the bandits were still around the village.

An anonymous source who spoke to the BBC said his house was completely burnt down, with his brother and boss in the shop killed.

“As I speak to you, there is no single person in that community because we have all fled from the place. 12 people were confirmed killed while several others were injured during the attack. Eight of my friends were killed. The bandits are still around the village and have stopped us from retrieving the dead bodies for proper burial.

“We tried calling security agents but to no avail. To be honest with you, the security agents in Dan Kurmi (a larger community neighbouring Daraga) could not match the bandits. There is nothing they cannot do because they have more sophisticated weapons and are many in number,” he said.

He said residents had deserted the village to various communities, including Dan Kurmi, Bena, Zargado (all in Zamfara state) and as far as Wasagu and Unashi in Kebbi state.

Spokesman of Zamfara state Police Command, Mohammed Shehu did not respond to SMS and calls on the situation at Daraga.

Katsina

In a related development, bandits have killed 9 people, abducted village head and unspecified number of persons in Guga  village of Bakori local government area of Katsina state.

Sources from the village told newsmen that the terrorists attacked the village Monday night during which they also burnt cars, shops and houses.

A source said most of the kidnapped victims were well-to-do people in the area, including women and children.

As at the time of compiling this report, there were no reported contacts between the terrorists and the family of the abductees.

 Premium Times reports that three communities of  Guga, Gidan Kanawa and Dukawa, are in the Bakori and Funtua local government area, all in the southern part of the state, share boundaries with Kaduna state.

Katsina state has witnessed frequent bandits’ attacks since the beginning of this year.

Recent attacks

The recent attacks were the killing of a village head and four others in Yan Gayya and  at least 12 people  in Ilela villages.

The police spokesperson in the state, Gambo Isa, had attributed recent attacks to fleeing bandits from Zamfara and Sokoto states.Speaking to Premium Times, Nafiu Muhammadu, said the village head of Guga, Alhaji Umar, was abducted while 10 people were killed in the attack.

“When they came, they started shooting sporadically and putting fire on shops in the community, which caused panic. When residents started running, some of the bandits started shooting, which led to the death of the 10 people I told you.

“The village head, despite the chance for him to run because his house is a little far away from where the attack started, came towards the bandits, asking his people to run. That was when he was captured. He was taken back into his house where some money and foodstuff were also taken,” Muhammadu said.

He said only the village head was abducted. Those killed have not been buried yet.

Local sources said the marauding bandits stormed Dukawa in Funtua local government Monday night and ran a house to house search.

An anonymous source, who is now seeking refuge in Funtua told this reporter that the bandits were possibly there to loot food.

“They did not kill anyone in the village but eight women and six children were taken by the bandits when they couldn’t get any meaningful food stuff. I was there and there was no attempt by the security agents to repel the attack despite the fact that we called the policemen stationed not far from the village,” he said.

The source, however, said negotiations had started for the release of the women and children.

The attack in Gidan Kanawa came hours after the one in Dukawa, all in Funtua local government area.

Attahiru Bala, another resident of Funtua, said the attack on Gidan Kanawa in which three people were killed in the village was a reprisal attack.

“My sister-in-law lives there with her husband. She told us that the bandits were frustrated by vigilante members last Saturday when they attempted to attack the town. But they regrouped and came back this morning around 1 a.m. and launched the attack. If not because of the resilience of the vigilante members who still confronted them and helped residents escape, the casualties would have been more than the three killed. But I was also told that several people were abducted,” he said.

Mr Bala said the three people were buried Tuesday morning in the area.

The command spokesperson in Katsina state, Mr Isa’s phone number was not reachable but a message was sent to him for comments on the attacks.

 IPMA boss kidnapped

Also, the Benin Depot Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Baba Abdul-Hamid Saliu, was Monday evening abducted by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.

His driver, whose identity still remained unknown as at the time of filing this report, was killed in the process.

The incident occurred Monday, at about 7 pm in Jattu, his country home, in Etsako West local government area of Edo state.

Saliu was elected last week Thursday.

It was gathered that the gunmen said to be about six in number, came in two vehicles with hidden number plates and laid ambush at his residence.