Displacement & MigrationNews

Displaced Residents Lament Persistent Terror Attacks, Demand Protection

Displaced residents in Zamfara, the epicentre of the violence in Northwestern Nigeria, obstructed traffic to demonstrate against terror attacks.

Angry residents from several communities in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria, on Thursday, July 1, took to the street to register their grievances against increasing terror attacks. 

The residents from Juyi, Doruwa, Lagaje, Madanga, Kekun waje, Landai, and Lamba converged on Tashar Abu along Zamfara-Sokoto road to stage a protest demanding that the government secure their communities, lives, and properties.

HumAngle understands that the protesters were joined by members of other communities; Gidan Malan Mamman, YarTsamiya, Galmar Hannu, and Bindin. 

The protest on Thursday, which obstructed the movement of motorists, commuters and business activities, happened a week after a larger protest on June 24,  at the same location about 3o kilometres from Gusau, the state capital. 

The protesters included men, women and children terrorised and displaced from their communities. One of the protesters, Alhaji Sanusi, a two-time abduction victim complained to HumAngle that they needed soldiers to fight the terrorists holding their villages. 

Sanusi added that “See all of us here at the roadside, the women and children including the old men and women among us, we have no food to eat, nowhere to sleep and no safer place to go anymore, as if no government exists in both Zamfara State and Nigeria.”

“The terrorists are killing siblings, brothers and sisters almost everyday in all the villages I mentioned to you. They took away our wives and daughters. They are all Fulani ethnic groups transformed as bandits, some of them as terrorists rustling our animals, now we don’t have cows to ridge our farms,” said Abubakar, a 27-year-old resident. 

“I am not happy and so regret to confide to you that these cruel terrorists often visit us and drag men out of their own houses, or even tie them with rope in order to have sex with our wives before our own eyes.”

On his part, Maman Maitoka, 48, spoke on the failure of reconciliation attempts and impact of the banning of Yan Sakai, a local vigilante group set up to protect vulnerable communities but accused of engaging in extrajudicial actions.

“Our Yan Sakai leaders were arrested for protecting our people during the last administration. Today, the present government said it had banned Yan Sakai for peace reconciliation with the bandits. Yet, the killing, raping, rustling, kidnapping and all other forms of terrorism did not end,” he said. 

Jamilu Isah ‘Yarkatsina, a resident of Yarkatsina, told HumAngle that “as I speak to you, I can tell you authoritatively that, we visited Zamfara State Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, the Emir of Maru, the Chairman Maru Local Government, and up to the Zamfara State Government House all in our desperation to get an audience and enjoy the solace from these government officials, but our struggle proved abortive”. 

“This is why we are here at Sokoto-Gusa Federal Highway to protest for peace, security and freedom to live, and farm,” another resident, Sanusi Mai Galma added.

Meanwhile, during the protest,  a troop of the Nigerian Army came at noon, barely six hours after the protest started. The troop teargassed the protesters.

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