Armed ViolenceNews

Terrorists Violate ‘Peace Pact’, Attack Zamfara Community

After paying a hefty ransom to an armed gang of kidnappers in September, the community of Birnin Tudu were given a promise they would not be attacked again. That promise turned out to be empty, with the three further violent incursions that came in the last two weeks.

Terrorists have made a series of attacks on a town in Zamfara state, breaking a pact the community thought spared them from violence.

The latest of these attacks came on Oct 17, when the armed group invaded Birnin-Tudu town in Gummi local government area. They clashed with vigilantes, killing one. 

A month before, in September, the terrorists had promised they would leave the community alone, but despite this there have since been three assaults in the last two weeks. 

Witnesses described how on Oct 17 the armed men advanced, possibly heading toward the neighbouring Kwankwani, Tudun Zara, and Gara communities, when they entered Birnin-Tudu town. 

As the terrorists arrived at the outskirts of the town, vigilantes emerged to repel them, but were forced to retreat when they saw the superior force the terrorists commanded. 

One of the vigilantes named Ibrahim, made a lone stand against the invaders and was gunned down.

Peace deal

According to local sources, the recent attacks mean a peace guarantee offered by the terrorists last month is broken. 

In September, the armed terrorist group had promised to leave the community of Birnin-Tudu alone. The offer came following an attack in which the terrorists abducted people and then demanded a ransom of ₦9 million ($20,660) and a Boxer motorcycle.

After the locals fulfilled these demands, and the abductees were released, one of the terrorists phoned up again. 

He demanded they should buy him another motorbike, as the first one was seized by his gang leader, a villager told HumAngle.

Once again, locals contributed over ₦200,000 ($460) to buy another Boxer motorcycle. 

It is understood, as an acknowledgement of their double payment the terror gang offered that they would spare the community future violence.

However, this promise was broken and attacks resumed. The first time on Oct 5, local sources told HumanAngle, they stormed the town and killed a boy who refused to take them to houses with cattle.

On Monday, Oct. 11, the terrorists again invaded Birnin Tudu around 11 p.m.

Bashar Muhammad Kofa, a witness to the Oct. 11 attack, told HumAngle: “I met my friends running towards my direction. I asked what was going on. They pointed and the next thing I saw were heavily armed terrorists, less than 20 steps away from us,” he said.  

“The terrorists asked us to stop running, adding that they were not after us. But we didn’t listen. I ran and hid. That day, they abducted over 20 people, including my sister. They also broke many shops and carted people’s prosperities away.”

Like other residents, Bashar has since fled the community for an undisclosed destination, in fear of more terror attacks and unsure of government protection.

“The moment I harvest my farm, I am leaving the community until peace is restored,” Bashar said.

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Umar Aminu Yandaki

Umar Yandaki is a creative writer interested in promoting humanitarian values through documentation of historical issues and contemporary human insecurity. He is a first-class graduate of History from Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS), Nigeria. Yandaki is a doctoral researcher at the Department of History, Northwestern University, USA, where he is exploring historical memory and the politics of erasures in Northern Nigerian Historiography.

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