Armed Violence

Terrorists On Kidnapping Spree To ‘Get New Zamfara Govt’s Attention’

About 31 people have so far been abducted from last week to the inauguration day of May 29.

Terrorists have intensified kidnappings in order to “get the attention” of the newly installed government in Zamfara, Northwest Nigeria, HumAngle can report.

The gangs have resorted to attacking mostly rural dwellers who are local farmers and setting them free with a demand – that Governor Dauda Lawal negotiate with them for peace to reign.

The terrorists said this on Sunday, after the conditional release of  seven abducted farmers out of the 13 kidnapped in Birnin-Magaji Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

The renewed attacks were launched by the terrorists in 13 villages and parts of Shinkafi and Zurmi LGAs. They blocked roads between Alawa and Kwanar Boko in the week leading to May 29, killing, maiming, and kidnapping travellers. 

Locals in the affected areas told HumAngle that the security personnel only respond after each roadblock where they scare them away and leave the scene.

A resident, Adamu Kwashafawa, who escaped today’s [Monday] attack told HumAngle “I was coming from Gusami village to Gusau to witness the swearing-in of the new Zamfara Governor Dauda Lawal, only to discover that about seven members of the armed group were standing on the road pavement hiding their guns behind their backs. We didn’t notice from afar until we got closer.

“They kidnapped 13 of us just now and killed four other commuters.”

Residents from Kiyawa to Nasarawa Mailayi and Gusami axis lamented that the armed groups created checkpoints at about three different strategic spots, trapping pedestrians and travellers for almost a month.

One of the victims of Saturday’s attack who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being killed by the gang said, “I risked going to my farm and quickly left before sunset. We coincidentally met with them while they were carrying 17 abducted men and women.

“We were moved into the bush on Saturday, but seven of us were released with a message that we should go and get our village heads to advise the new governor to consider peace dialogue with the armed gangs.” 

Stranded residents from Badarawa and Jangeru said that the armed gangs ambushed two vehicles, killing two and abducting an unspecified number of passengers, including a mother and two of her children. 

Adams Barau Shinkafi, a friend of one of the killed travellers said “Abdulrauf Attah, aged 34, from Badarawa village of Shinkafi was among the travellers killed on Sunday, at 5:30 p.m. as a result of a gunshot by the terrorists along Kaura-Namoda Shinkafi Road.”

“I narrowly escaped the attack by hiding under one of the six intercepted cars. I saw how the cruel gang forcefully kidnapped seven passengers at the spot,” said Lami Alhaji Bature, a 29-year-old woman from Shinkafi.

“The armed group went into the bush by foot with their victims.”

Meanwhile, four other people were abducted on the outskirts of Jangeru and Kayaye villages while they worked their farms.

It could be recalled that, when the immediate past governor of Zamfara State, AbdulAzeez Yari took over power in May, 2015, there had been increased attacks from that month to August of the same year. This happened in various locations of Zamfara. They were led by the notorious Buharin Daji, Halilu Sububu, Bello Turji, Ado Aleru, Mamman Shadari and several others. 

This development had pushed ex-governor Yari to call for peace negotiations mediated by the state’s top traditional rulers.

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