LOCAL vigilantes in Zamfara State have decided to fight back against the armed bandits currently terrorising their community by launching an assault on Dansadau market in Maru Local Government Area killing dozens of suspected hoodlums.
Over recent years, Zamfara State has become the epicentre of banditry in Nigeria with villages regularly being attacked and school pupils abducted for ransom. Overwhelmed by the problem,. the state government has resorted to negotiating with the bandits, offering them payment to return their weapons and agreeing to reintegrate them into society of they lay down their arms.
Despite all the attempts to address the matter, the violence has refused to abate, so yesterday, local vigilantes decided to take matters into their own hands, storming Dansadau and killing scores of suspected bandits in an execution-style manner. Apparently, the vigilantes from Ruwan Tofa and other neighbouring communities carried out the massacre to avenge the killing of three farmers in the area.
Eyewitness Bilyaminu Dansadau, said: “From where I was standing, I could see the bodies of the slain bandits in almost every corner of the market. As I am talking to you, I am right inside my house which is close to the market but we are afraid of the consequences that might follow.
“In fact, some people have started fleeing to the neighbouring communities. The bandits had earlier blocked Gusau-Dansadau Road and forced people to suspend their travels and commercial drivers plying the road are currently on strike over incessant kidnappings and armed robberies by the bandits.
“When the local vigilantes arrived on Friday, they blocked all escape routes in the community. Some of them stationed themselves at all the exit points of the community while the others headed towards the livestock section of the market to carry out the executions.”
Local resident, Alhaji Yau Dansadau, said some of the embattled bandits took refuge in shops and police stations as well as residential buildings. Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed Dauran, the Zamfara State commissioner for security and home affairs, confirmed the incident adding that security men had been deployed to the area.
Meanwhile, Governor Bello Matawalle has suspended the district head of Badarawa in Shinkafi Emirate Council, the Sarkin Kudun Badarawa, Alhaji Surajo Namakkah Ibrahim, for conferring the traditional title of Durumbu on a military officer who was recently arrested for selling ammunition to bandits. He said the suspension of the district head was indefinite because the conferment of the traditional title was not borne out of any significant contribution to the development of the area.