Armed ViolenceNews

3 Weeks After Presidential Directives, No Military Deployment In Katsina, Says Residents

On May 17, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the launching of a major military operation against armed groups believed to be terrorists in Katsina State and environs, but residents in the state say they are yet to see any major changes in military activities in areas affected by the attacks.

Jamil Sabuwa, a resident of Sabuwa Local Government Area in an audio message obtained by HumAngle angrily spoke over the alleged failure of the State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, and the president to protect lives and property of the people.

“We have lost parts of the state to the control of bandits,” the resident of Sabuwa said.

“This night they are headed to Unguwar Sani, they are very serious this time, they are advancing towards Sabuwa, 150 bikes were seen, everywhere the people are disturbed and traumatised, it will be hard if they don’t disperse Sabuwa communities by tomorrow,” Sabuwa added.

Several other residents who spoke but were afraid to give their names said they were worried and disturbed.

“There’s no help, that is why I don’t talk, but we have to talk,” said a seemingly traumatised resident.

Asked if there were soldiers in the area, the residents said: “they were kept in a camp and the bandits have subdued the camp, there’s no soldier there, they shot one, five days ago.”

The soldiers seem to be as helpless as the villagers from Sabuwa, HumAngle gathered.

According to the residents, it was no longer a secret that the terrorists had established camps in Dankolo and Madaci, adding, “they are there day and night.

“If anyone wants to see them, not only security agencies, even the president or the governor, they should come, the terror groups are here in Dankolo.

“If you want to kill them [terrorists], they are here.

“There is no point making noise from Abuja or the state capital that they have deployed soldiers.

“It is a lie, we have not seen anything unusual deployments other than the armed groups doing what they want and the government is doing nothing about it,” said an angry resident.

The terrorists are in control of the following communities in Katsina State: – Dungun Muazu, Dankolo, Masayau, Tashar Bawa, the resident said.

“Nobody can tell you armed groups are not in control of these areas, right now if they see any stranger in the area they will either take him or kill him and no one can challenge them,” the voice said.

According to Muhammad Kabir, a blogger and activist in Katsina, “farming for the people of Sabuwa is almost impossible. When the people try to access their farms the bandits will call them and send them on an errand to purchase drugs or cigars, One person I’ve spoken to said, he hasn’t been able to farm for almost 15 years now..”

Kabir added that “the school where Governor Masari sat with armed groups for dialogue has become an operational base for the armed groups. Terrorists have subdued the community.”

HumAngle contacted the Nigerian Army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, for comments, but he has yet to respond to messages and calls sent to his phone line at the time of the report.

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