Armed ViolenceNews

Terrorists Attack Northwestern Nigeria Communities ‘For Ramadan Relief’

After a former governor donated food items for Ramadan to villagers in the Ruwan-Bore and Gidan-Zuma communities in North West Nigeria, terrorists attacked the communities in an attempt to collect the food items. Two people were killed and five others injured. 

In a desperate search for food items, a terrorist group launched separate attacks in the Ruwan-Bore and Gidan-Zuma areas of Zamfara State, North West Nigeria.

At about 11:30 p.m. on March 20, they raided the Gidan-Zuma community, shooting sporadically and asking villagers to “bring out all the Ramadan relief aid.”

“This led to the setting of about four houses and seven shops on fire,” Naziru Abubakar, a villager who survived the night raid, told HumAngle.

The previous evening, they had attacked Ruwan-Bore, a neighbouring community, raining a hail of bullets at mud houses and looting food items donated to the villagers by a politician.

On March 11, Abdulaziz Yari, the senator representing Zamfara West, vowed to donate food items to 250,000 needy households in the state. Lawal Liman, the coordinator of the Ramadan feeding scheme, said the former governor of the state was targeting over one million people with the aid.

The food items include rice, beans, maize, grains, sugar, and other essential commodities, according to a report by TheCable, a Nigerian daily newspaper.

“It is not just about feeding 250,000 people. It is about providing support to 250,000 households that require assistance during the holy month of Ramadan,” the report quoted Liman as saying.

The attacks came after the distribution of the food materials. 

Jabir Aliyu, a local in the Ruwan-Bore community, said some residents tried to repel the attacks, but the terrorists seemed to overpower them.

“I narrowly escaped death when we confronted two terrorists with the intent to kill them promptly,” Aliyu told HumAngle. “As we followed them to the outskirts of the town, unknown to us, there were over 30 motorcycles loaded with the armed group carrying their guns and sieging our community.”  

The terrorists killed two officers of the Community Protection Guards, identified as Aliyu Abubakar and Barkono Musa, according to accounts by eyewitnesses who attended the funeral prayer held today. 

Man carrying firewood walks down a sandy street with people and buildings in a village setting.
Kantudu area, a displaced community in Kaura Namoda LGA, Zamfara State. Photo Credit: AbdulRahman Hamza.

Five unarmed civilians also sustained injuries as a result of gunshots during the raids in the two communities. 

Ashiru Lawal Gurbin-Bore, a resident in the area lamented that “hundreds of the villagers plunged into the bush running for their lives while leaving behind the armed men, who would later extend their operations to other parts of the village unhindered.”

“The Zamfara Government and State Police Command are aware of the attacks that happened on Tuesday and Wednesday, but none of the security operatives made any attempt to repel or rescue the residents from the attacks,” Lawal claimed. “I called the PPRO of Zamfara Police three times to seek rescue. He neither picked up my call nor replied to my short messages.”

When HumAngle contacted Sulaiman Idris, the spokesperson to the Zamfara Government, he said they had deployed security operatives to foil the attacks.

“Although there was no case of abduction or cattle rustling in the two affected communities, our CPG operatives were there and promptly countered the attack which as a result claimed the lives of the two of them. Zamfara State Government is employing all kinetic options to address the situation,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Yazid Abubakar, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the  Zamfara State Police Command, said, “I was just gathering information from our sources to confirm the incident.”

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