By Femi Mustapha
Reports from Zamfara state in Northwest Nigeria, revealed that bandits have again, kidnapped over 20 women, following the attacks in 15 villages within the neighbourhood of Gusau, the state capital.
According to a BBC Hausa report, some locals in Geba, and Gidan Kaura villages, and others in communities within the Gusau Local Government Area, told the BBC that the bandits invaded their communities, killed men and destroyed properties.
” The bandits kidnapped women and girls, took them away,” they said.
One of the locals said, “the bandits kidnapped 10 women in Kura, at Bayauri they kidnapped 9.They also entered a village called Gana and kidnapped 7 before proceeding to Duma and kidnapped another seven. This happened before Sunday morning.”
According to reports, many villages have been deserted ,even as the villagers embarked on an exodus to the state capital, Gusau.
A local who was migrating to Gusau, said they’ve now ran away to the Damba community inside the Zamfara state capital, Gusau.
” We have women, children and the pregnant ones, there is no food. If you see where they sleep in this cold, as if there is no government,” a local residing in Damba community has alleged.
The Commissioner of Information in Zamfara state, Ibrahim Dosara, however, confirmed that the attack was in Geba. He explained that shortly after the bandits attacked, security agents went to rescue the situation.
He said ” there are soldiers working in that zone, they went to Geba. They met 3 people injured, the soldiers dispersed the bandits.”
The Commissioner said it was not true that the over villages that were attacked, were not visited by security agents on a rescue mission.
The attacks in Zamfara came at a time the authorities announced that security agents have arrested some bandits that were earlier dislodged in their hideouts, who went to a medical facility for treatment.
For some years, Zamfara has been among the states in the North battling with banditry, a phenomenon that has attained a disturbing dimension in the states of Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna and their neighbours.
Last week, the bandits burnt over 20 passengers in a motor vehicle in Sokoto, a development that caused a series of condemnation and elicited anger among some Nigerians who were alleging that the government was allowing the bandits to have a field day unchallenged.