Bandits numbering over 200 on Thursday last week attacked the portrait of the troops operating along Anka- Bagega-Dangulbi road in Anka local government area of Zamfara state and reportedly killed 10 soldiers, one mobile police operative in Sunke village.
An eyewitness identified as Malam Shafiu Lajiga of Danma’aji village in an interview with Blueprint in Gusau said he ran with his family at Dangulbi town to Danma’aji village for fear of the bandits’ reprisal attacks.
“I have two wives, seven children, all are helpless. I cannot remain in that area and allow some miscreants eliminate us,” Lajiga said.
He said the gunmen arrived on motorcycles firing at the soldiers stationed at the community, adding that, a policeman was among the victims.
However, another source close to the state government who spoke under anonymity told our reporter that the attack would not be unconnected with vengeance taken by the bandits against the soldiers operating in the area who were alleged to have killed some of the repentant bandits recently.
It would be recalled that last Wednesday, October2, residents of Mayanchi in Maru local government of Zamfara state spotted a bike- riding gang at Kwanar Mayanchi junction along Gusau – Sokoto highway, who raided some shops and made away with food items belonging to shop owners worth millions of naira as they headed to Birnin Gwari in the neighbouring Kaduna state.
Blueprint reports that the attacks on soldiers came barely two weeks after the state government raised the alarm over possible attacks on seven local government areas by suspected Boko Haram members.
However, effort to speak with the spokesperson of Operation Hadarin Daji of the Nigeria Army in the state, Capt Oni Orisan proved abortive as at the time of filing this report.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, Monday, visited Zamfara and held a closed door meeting with Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle. He however did not brief the press on the issues discussed.
Sources said the visit might be connected with the killing of 9 soldiers last Thursday in Sunke village and the need to restrategise against the bandits.
The state government in a response said the bandits who attacked the village were not from the state but from Niger. Special adviser to Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle on security matters, Abubakar Dauran, stated this while fielding questions from journalists in Gusau Sunday.
According to him, the last Thursday’s attack left some soldiers and the attackers dead, while those injured were admitted at the Federal Medical Centre, Gusau for medical attention.
“Following the recent peace dialogue with bandits, which led to their repentance in Zamfara, the state government after thorough investigation discovered that, the attackers were from Niger, adding that the peace reconciliation processes will be sustained.
Chairman, Anka local council, Hon. Ahmed Balarabe Anka, in an interview with Blueprint on phone, confirmed the incident, saying since the beginning of peace dialogue initiated by Zamfara state government, his local council was peaceful as people were sleeping with their two eyes closed.