VILLAGERS from the Jirrawa community in Kaura-Namoda Local Government Area of Zamfara have dumped the corpse of a local man recently killed by armed bandits at State House in Gusau to protest the inaction of the government over the matter.
Over about the last year, bandits have run riot in Zamfara State, constantly terrorising the towns of Tsafe, Danjibga, Yan doto, Yan waren Daji, Kwarin Ganuwa and Keta. Local people have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything within his powers to curtail the activities of the bandits who have been kidnapping, raping women, looting and killing innocent people across Zamfara State.
Last year, the then state governor Abdulaziz Yari offered to pay N1m ($2,750) for every AK47 Kalashnikov rifle handed in as part of a desperate attempt to mop up the large number of illegal firearms in circulation across the state. Like many of Nigeria’s states, Zamfara is awash with weapons and of late, the state has been the centre of some very brutal violence involving Fulani cattle herdsmen and local farmers.
In May this year, Zamfara local government officials confirmed that they regularly make cash payments to bandits as part of a programme to get them to stop killing innocent civilians because the security agencies cannot cope with the menace. However, despite all these measures, the killings go on unabated, so yesterday over 100 Jirrawa villagers took their protest to Government House.
Community spokespersons Muntari Abdullahi and Muhammadu Sani, said that the assailants invaded the village around 10 am and began to shoot in the air. They added that the deceased was just recovering from a gunshot wound inflicted on him during an earlier attack four months ago when the village was attacked again.
Mr Abdullahi said: “We later realised that they had already killed Shafiu Inusa on his farm while he was trying to apply fertiliser on his plants. It is exactly four months now when his father was killed in a similar attack because the wives of the old man are completing their four months stay at home as mandated by Islam.
“We gathered from his farm neighbour and brother that initially, one of the bandits appeared before them saying anyone who knows he is guilty should run and who is not should stay. Shafiu refused to run and when the others numbering over 100 arrived, they opened fire and killed him instantly, so this is his remains that we brought here for the governor to see and know that this peace initiative is not working for us.”
Mr Sani added: “These criminals have always passed by our village without any threat or harassment until the last few months. So far, they have attacked us more than eight times and have killed many people and even while on our way to Gusau today, we received a phone call that they also killed one Bala Danrabi, a vigilante leader who has always fought the bandits.”
Zamfara State police commissioner Usman Nagogo, said: “I am in constant contact with bandits groups in all the bushes and our discussions have been positive leading to the peace we are now enjoying. On this Jirrawa issue, I have spoken with my contacts around the area and the repentant bandits promised to meet tomorrow and fish out the perpetrators of this latest attack and hand the culprits over to me, as this is in the spirit of the partnership we are now enjoying.”