• Monday, March 04, 2024
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BusinessDay

Bandits’ threat empties 9 Zamfara communities

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Residents of nine communities in Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State find themselves gripped by fear, fleeing their homes after over threats of attack by notorious bandit leader, Dan Nagala.

The mass exodus follows a recent military operation targeting Nagala’s alleged stolen cattle, raising concerns of potential reprisal attack against villages that share borders with the bandits leader.

Soldiers attached to Operation Hadarin Daji unit had stormed the forest on Tuesday, recovering a substantial number of cows under the custody of another bandit named Zakiru. Fearing retaliation, residents abandoned their homes, as Nagala had previously warned of attacking villages if soldiers returned for “his cows.”

Notably, Dan Nagala’s previous attacks include the abduction of 17 people in Ruwan Dorawa village and the assault on six villages in Mutunji district, where 150 persons were abducted. The bandits continue to exert pressure, demanding hefty ransoms from the families of those in captivity.

A distressed resident from Dan Gamji village revealed the ongoing fear.

“Dan Nagala can strike at any time; he is heartless and doesn’t value human life,” the villager said.

Villagers are appealing to both state and federal governments for urgent intervention to ensure their safety.

The impact of the mass exodus is evident, with residents uncertain about the whereabouts of their families.

“I don’t know where my two wives and eight children are,” a resident from Galmuwar Hannu said, expressing his worry.

He pleaded for government’s assistance, emphasizing the need for security and protection against bandit threats.

Some residents also question the military’s approach, suggesting that soldiers should have remained to safeguard the affected villages after the cattle recovery operation. Some fear that the soldiers’ actions may escalate tensions between villagers and bandits, potentially endangering peaceful coexistence.

Ibrahim Yahaya, the spokesperson for Operation Hadarin Daji, declined to comment, stating engagement in clearance operations. The situation in Zamfara State remains precarious, with several communities facing armed bandit attacks.

It was learnt that in Magizawa village, armed bandits abducted nearly 50 villagers, killing three and injuring five.

The recurring banditry incidents underscore the urgent need for comprehensive security measures in Zamfara State, as residents live in constant fear amid escalating violence.