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Ethnic Cleansing: Residents Live In Fear As Death Toll Hits 19 In Zamfara

Ethnic Cleansing: Residents Live In Fear As Death Toll Hits 19 In Zamfara OCTOBER 10 , 2021 | EASTERN PILOT Report From: Maiharaji Altine |E...

Ethnic Cleansing: Residents Live In Fear As Death Toll Hits 19 In Zamfara


Report From: Maiharaji Altine |Eniola Akinkuotu, Solomon Odeniyi, DeborahTolu-Kolawole |

A resident of the Kuryar-Madaro village in the Kaura-Namoda Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Thursday said the number of people who lost their lives during an attack by some gunmen had risen to 19. He added that 11 vehicles, including a police van, and many shops were set ablaze by the bandits during the attack. The bandits had on Monday night descended on the village around 10pm and shot indiscriminately.

No fewer than 18 corpses were picked up on Tuesday.

The Malam Umar Garba, who spoke to The PUNCH on Thursday said, “Eighteen corpses were discovered and buried onTuesday. But another dead body was found on Wednesday, making the total number of those killed to 19. “The bandits, who were in hundreds came to the town around 10pm, armed with weapons and started shooting. They burnt eleven vehicles and dozens of shops, while many people fled for their safety.”

Garba, who alleged abandonment by the government, added, “When  I left the village for Gusau last night (Wednesday), there was no presence of security personnel. The people are left in total fear as the bandits said that they will still come back.” However, the spokesperson for the police command, SP Mohammed Shehu, who confirmed the incident said, “The command has drafted security personnel to restore peace in the village.”

In a related publication, Gumi knocks Army as 200 killed in Zamfara despite Buhari’s no-fly zone. The Nigerian Army and a popular Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, on Wednesday disagreed over the latter’s allegation that security agents were collaborating with bandits. Gumi, while featuring on Morning Show, a programme on Arise TV, on Wednesday, alleged that a lot of those he described as bad elements in the nation’s security forces were colluding with bandits. The cleric stated that the bandits had been able to access assorted weapons that they used against Nigeria due to the cooperation of the security agents.

Gumi said these as The PUNCH learnt that at least 200 residents of Zamfara State had been killed in violent attacks despite an order by the President, MajorGeneral Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), declaring a ‘no-fly-zone’ over the state’s airspace. On his part, the Kaduna-based cleric  alleged that the security agents were doing business with the security and lives of Nigerians Gumi said, “These bandits, if you don’t know, are cooperating with a lot of bad elements in our security system. This is a business. So many people are involved; you will be surprised. “They were caught in Zamfara.  They were caught everywhere. How do these big weapons cross our borders?  

“How can these big weapons cross our borders and get into the forest without the cooperation of some bad elements of the security operatives assisting them? It is not possible. “If I give you the same quantity of guns, can you take them to the UK? You can’t, because the security is at alert. Part of fighting this banditry is to overhaul our security system.” He attributed the incessant banditry and herdsmen attacks across the country to tribal wars. “What you call banditry, when you cross to the other side, you find out Nigeria is fighting a tribal war,” he said.

Gumi, who admitted that bandits commit atrocities, also accused the government at all levels of taking sides in the raging attacks on Nigerian communities. “When you said these bandits are committing atrocities, yes, agree they are committing crimes. They are killing people. They are raping. They are doing all sorts of atrocities.
“But, have you for once gone to their own sides and see all sorts of atrocities that are also committed against them?” he asked. Gumi claimed that herdsmen had been lynched across the southern region, while specifically naming Anambra and Oyo states.

The prominent cleric believes that the government should be neutral, rather than taking sides in addressing banditry and herdsmen attacks. He stated, “The moment government takes sides, it becomes part of the conflict. And this is what I saw in Zamfara State, in Niger State and other states. “It is very unfortunate that in the 21st century because of the fracture in our governmental structure people have turned to tribalism or religion originality to express their grievances,” he lamented.

He described the amnesty granted to bandits by the Katsina State Governor Bello Masari as “a political amnesty without any package.” Gumi said “You granted a political amnesty, I mean an amnesty in the front of the media but in the real sense there was no amnesty. “Amnesty comes with a package,” he maintained, stating that “the package is that you rehabilitate these criminals, you provide them social amenities.”

Confusion as villagers take corpse to Zamfara Government House

There was pandemonium in Gusau, Zamfara State capital, when the people of Jimrawa village in the Kaura-Namoda Local Government Area of the state took the body of one of their people killed by bandits to the Government House to let the government know that the peace dialogue initiated to end banditry was not working. The sight of the villagers, who took several motorbikes to the Government House, made many people in Gusau to run for their lives, thinking there was a breakdown of security.

The people were received at the Government House by the state police commissioner, Usman Nagogo, as both the governor and his deputy were not in the state. According to the villagers, despite the peace accord reached by the government, the bandits and the volunteer groups, innocent people were still being killed in the state. They said over 30 people from the village had been killed by suspected Fulani bandits within the last few days, with the peace accord in place. They said unless urgent action was taken, they would be left with no option but to flee from the village to avoid becoming victims of such attacks.

Nagogo, who attended the funeral of the murdered person, expressed disgust over the incident. He assured the villagers that something would be done as soon as possible to end the problem.


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