In a week-long series of attacks on villages in Ruwan-Jema, Zamfara, Northwest Nigeria, terrorists kidnapped many residents, including 29 women and their children.
The attacks, which affected about 16 communities, lasted between July 25 and July 31.
Some of the abducted women were identified as Shamsiyya, Umma, Belau, ‘Yarbuga, Hafsin Malam, Talatu Garba, and Meri. Some of the men also kidnapped were Danlabbo, Umma Kimalle, Mallam Mukhtar, Surajo Sarkin Dutsi, and Abubakar.
Ruwan-Jema is in the Bukuyum area of Zamfara, which has emerged as one of the hotbeds of terrorist and criminal activities. The terrorists have allegedly established about four camps in the area and operate with little to no checks. The most prominent are the groups led by Shadari and Dogo Gudale.
“The armed gang spent seven days in my area, Ruwan-Rana, and other neighbouring villages and communities. I can authoritatively tell you that they have gone with over 30 of our people from Ruwan-Jema as their captives, most of whom are married women and their children,” Village Head of Ruwan-Rana, Magaji Bunun Ruwan-Rana, told HumAngle.
Abubakar Mohammed, a resident of Ruwan-Rana, told us two of the abductees were released on Saturday, July 30, around 10 p.m., after fulfilling the terrorists’ conditions. They had been asked to purchase eight jerricans of fuel and ₦5,000 worth of MTN and Airtel phone recharge cards.
Those who regained their freedom “after making the said payments were Malam Aminu Umar, a Primary School Headmaster, and Dahiru Danhubbare, a Niger-based businessman who was on a visit to the village,” he said.
Jamilu Sarkin Fawa, 32, a resident of Ruwan-Jema, who narrowly escaped being abducted and shot, said many people are still in the bush, trying to stay alive.
“We are completely in disarray because the armed gang has terrorised and disbanded us. We have already dispersed across different places,” he said tearfully.
“Our trouble is that the marauding terrorists are still in our villages. For our loved ones to be released, they mandated us to purchase for them 30 jerricans of fuel and ₦20,000 worth of recharge cards for MTN and Airtel networks. And there is no way for our village people to easily meet to discuss and resolve to contribute money and get this done.”
Another resident, Mamman Gohe, said they have lost hope in the government partly because no public official has sympathised with them. “In fact, not even any of the security personnel was here before, during, or after the attacks to repel or respond to any of them.”
Some of the communities whose residents have fled due to the surge in attacks are Ruwan Rana, Ruwan Jema, Dogaye, Tungar Dutsi Ta Yamma, Gyado, Gizazza, Rafin Maiki, Gasahula, Kurfa, Bindin Baya, Tudun Fulani, Tungar Dutsi, Fakon Idi, Gasahular Mande, and Tungar Zagi.
HumAngle gathered that apart from Shadari’s and Dogo Gudale’s camps located inside the Gando and Fasagora forests, and the newly established camp allegedly managed by ‘Police’, another terror leader, who is said to be from the Niger Republic, operates in the eastern part of Danmarke village. There is also the Gyado camp, located in Kurawa, a thick forest that links Gummi, Bukuyum, and Talata-Mafara to the north-eastern parts of Zamfara.
HumAngle made several unsuccessful attempts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer of the Zamfara State Police Command, Mohammed Shehu, for comments.
The Divisional Police Officer, Usman Halilu Modibbo, told our reporter he is not authorised to speak for the police force on matters like this. “However, I can tell you that we are trying out best to restrain the situation,” he added.
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