By Sam Kayode
Tension has been heightened in Gusau, the Zamfara state capital, Northwest Nigeria, as bandits have given a “quit notice” to residents of Shinkafi, even as they have reportedly abducted over 60 people in their trail.
Thousands are said to have been displaced in the headquarters of the council area according to eye witnesses, traditional ruler and some security sources who spoke with metrowatchonline.com on phone today.
A notorious gang leader and general commander of the bandits, Gudde Turji, whose operation spans between Nigeria and Niger Republic border, was said to have given the quit notice to five communities, after destroying the official residence of Magajin Gari, the Senior District Head in Shinkafi Emirate Council.
The bandits were said to have launched similar terrible attacks on the residents of the headquarters of the council area and nearby villages, with 67 people abducted in the same day.
Areas visited by the bandits included Kware, Kurya, Kursasa, and Badarawa all of Shinkafi council area in Zamfara state.
One of our sources revealed that “Commander” Turji, who gave the quit notice to the villages in Shinkafi East communities said he was doing this because he heard that the Kano state government arrested his father.
“This attack is based on allegations that the Kano state government arrested my father because of me, in connection with the state Governor’s convoy attack during his political visit to Zamfara state.
“In response to this, we resorted to kidnapping people from Kware, Badarawa, Kursasa, Maberaya, Badarawa and even Shinkafi town.”
“The situation is beyond human thinking because their operation which started in the wee hours of today ended after first light in the morning and they left the town around 8:00am.
“As it stands, over 67 people are now kidnapped, houses destroyed beyond imagination and its only God who knows the exact level of damage done by the bandits to those communities.
“Thousands of internally displaced persons from those six communities are now dislodged as at this morning and are currently taking refuge in Shinkafi headquarters,” said our source.
As at the time of writing this report, there were massive displacement of people especially elderly who cannot walk due to illness but are being evacuated with the help of others using wheelbarrows and donkeys.
Our source went on, “the situation is pathetic and annoying. When you consider the fact that the armed bandits rode on over 70 motorbikes and each motorbike is conveying three persons with sophisticated weapons destroying properties and abducting people”
“For instance, Nuhu Mula, Bello Dan-Sokoto and Fahad Mustapha all from Badarawa community were among the over 67 victims currently abducted by the Turji’s lieutenants, yesterday evening in Shinkafi another resident said.
Another source maintained that “communities in Kurya and Kware wards have been under the total control and administration of the terrorist groups for two year now, and life goes on as if the people have no choice.”
Meanwhile, the supreme leader of the bandits, Turji is said to be dominating the forests located in Isa council area of Sokoto State, Zurmi and Shinkafi council area of Zamfara state, and some parts of Niger Republic.
Sadly, owing to the absence of the government’s security agents such as the military in the area to repel the terrorists’ multiple attacks which started distantly at dusk, on Friday, groups of youths in Shinkafi town started responded as a kind of reprisal against Fulani women.
When contacted by phone, spokesperson of Zamfara State Police Command, Mohammed Shehu, was not reachable.
The entire state capital was on red alert as at the time of writing this report.