Armed ViolenceNews

Terrorists Block Zamfara Highway For Hours, Abduct Over 27 Commuters

They operated for about five hours unhindered, along DakiTakwas-Zuru Federal highway in Zamfara, Northwest Nigeria.

Terrorists kidnapped over 27 commuters on Saturday, Aug. 20, along the DakiTakwas-Zuru Federal highway in Zamfara, northwestern Nigeria. 

The abduction took place from 3:30 p.m. to about 8:25 p.m. unhindered. The gang abducted scores of travelers coming from Sokoto, Gusau, Gummi, and Anka, and heading towards Zuru Emirate. 

Other passengers who were on a trip from Zuru, Ribah, and Danko-Wasagu areas of Kebbi State, were also kidnapped.

Alhaji Abu Jabbi, a commuter from Sokoto to Zuru, narrowly escaped the attack and said “there were many armed terrorists at the federal highway in Danmarke village shouldering their guns and pointing it at our car.” 

“But thank God I managed to escape their trap when I ran into the bush. I saw how over 27 passengers from different locations were dragged into the bush at gunpoint,” Jabbi explained.

Another escapee, Tukur Husain, told HumAngle he saw “at least 13 cars intercepted by the terrorists while holding their guns in a ready position.” 

Attahiru Abdullahi, a driver who was on his way to Wasagu town from Gummi, said he initially did not notice that it was a terrorist group operating on the highway “when we arrived close to the fleet of cars that were attacked.”

Lukman Zugu, a resident of Zugu village of Bukuyum LGA lamented that “there was no security response to the road blockage by the marauders throughout the attack, despite several calls and reports to the security operatives and the Village Head of the area.” 

HumAngle observed that various terror gangs have, in 2022, been killing and abducting passengers and pedestrians on the DakiTakwas-Zuru Federal highway.

The road has become an access route for terrorists who use it to attack several communities in Bardoki Ward: Marina, Barikin-Daji, Kwado, Loni, Lonka, Lanke, Duddai, Gidan-Illo, Karaye, Gwalli and Yar-Gusau villages that share boundaries with  Bukuyum and Gummi LGA. 

Bukuyum has become ‘home’ and a ‘training ground’ for terrorists.

When commenting on the poor security response to terror attacks and incessant road blockage by terrorists in Danmarke village, Umar Gidado Gummi, a social critic, said that “what we see is seriously heartbreaking and extremely heartless. Once a civilian has a minor issue with a soldier, even over a woman, he will beat you to death. But here we are surrounded by armed terrorists, keeping our communities under siege, yet the security operatives are doing nothing to protect us.”

State Secretary, Zamfara Citizens Action for Peace Initiative, Akilu Adam lamented that “insecurity issue in both Gummi and Bukuyum is already out of hand. The Federal Government needs to wash its hands clean and end the incessant attacks on us if the government has no hand in this.”

Abdulkadir Abubakar, a businessman, pointed out that “it is proving to us that, these terrorists have overpowered government in our communities. All we urgently need is to bring back the vigilantes operation, at least to reinforce the military in addressing the spate and rate of terrorists’ attacks on us.

“Due to persistence of government absence in villages, the armed criminals are now expanding their influence and becoming stronger day by day. This is why IDPs are geometrically increasing in number in Gummi metropolis.” 

“See our IDPs begging for food, carrying crying children on their shoulders with loads on their heads loitering in open disgrace. And there’s utmost disregard to their circumstances by our authorities. These terrorists rape our women to some unbearable extent; and our authorities do not care,” Baangida, a resident of Gummi, added. 

“It is high time our influential figures in towns and villages come in terms to reinstate and empower vigilantes for our communities’ defense. The Nigerian Government has abandoned us.”

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of Zamfara State Police Command, Mohammed Shehu, told HumAngle “several efforts are presently made to address the lingering insecurity situation in Gummi, Bukuyum and Anka LGAs.”

Also responding to the incessant road blockage by terrorists across various roads in the state, Zamfara Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, who is also a retired D.I.G of Police, Muhammad Ibrahim Tsafe, told added: “Zamfara State Government is in talks with the remaining groups [terrorists] for peace initiative across 14 LGAs in the State.

“I can confirm to you that all these will soon be history in the state. Zamfara Government has already given a directive to those holding farmlands, cattle routes, and settlements belonging to Fulanis to be released to them as a lasting panacea to peace in the state.” 

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