In a terror attack in Kaura-Namoda, a town in Zamfara State, North West Nigeria, terrorists killed three teenage students yesterday, Nov. 22. This has caused many residents to desert the area, especially those of Igbo and Yoruba origins.
For a while now, Kaura-Namoda has suffered a series of attacks that the locals say sometimes lead to the terrorists being repelled by security forces, but they always return. Yesterday’s incident, however, caused many to rethink their stay in Zamfara as a whole.
Ogbonna Chibueze, 68, who is originally from Anambra State in the southeastern region of the country has lived in Kaura Namoda town for the past 28 years. He runs a construction materials business with his wife and four children. “I got a better life here, because all my children did their schooling here. I tried to bear the insecurity situation but I can’t anymore,” he told HumAngle. “I must move back to my state because today’s attack at our residential area, Hayin Gebe, scared me.”
The incident took place around 10:30 p.m., which was when they heard gunshots, Chibueze narrated. The sound came from the direction of a river in Kaura-Namoda, not more than 400 metres away from his house. But initially, his family thought that it was target practice by the local security outfit. The community had just recently contributed some money and ensured they were equipped with locally-made guns to tackle insecurity.
“As the shootings went on and on, getting closer from the riverside, we discovered we were surrounded by heavily armed terrorists in groups advancing towards our houses. The terrorists killed three secondary school students in the area – Ni’ima Bala, Halfa Dan-Tsoho, and Garzali who were coming from Islamic school,” Chibueze said.
Three months earlier, the mother of one of those killed, Dan-Tsoho, was abducted. She was still in captivity at the time he was shot dead, Musa Sanusi, the relative of the victim, told HumAngle. On the other hand, “Garzali was killed and his body was found at the riverside hours after the marauders left Kofar Zurmi Area,” he added.
One of the locals, Alkali Lawali, had a scuffle with the terrorists before he escaped.
“I was running away from the armed group that attacked our Bakin-Gulbi area; That was when I encountered another group. Two of them [terrorists] stood in front of me, each pointing his gun at me with their flashlight straight in my eyes. They asked me to get on their bike.”
Just at the point when Lawali was losing hope, he saw a chance to escape. Another gang arrived at the scene with his friend, Ridwan. They were both left in the company of one terrorist who served as their guard. The two friends successfully overpowered him and ran. They did not stop even when they were fired at.
Kehinde Oluwaseun, a native of Osun State has lived in Zamfara State for the last 25 years.
“Among our Yoruba community living here in Kaura for several decades, many of us have left the town already because our businesses have been crushed by these attacks,” he said. “I am just waiting for the truck to carry our last round of luggage to Gusau until things settle. Otherwise, we will not come back here.”
Unfortunately, even when the military came to the community’s rescue, they only succeeded in chasing off the terrorists, another resident, Abdulrahman Namoda, said.
“This has always been the usual response from the military on the daily attacks we have suffered in Kaura town for nearly three months now.” He was already making preparations to relocate his family to Gusau, the state capital.
“During the attack at Bakin Makarantar Boko and Matoya, it took the military nearly two hours in which they exchanged gunshots with the terrorists,” Hambali Yusuf, another resident, added.
As at the time this report was filed, all attempts to reach Yazid Abubakar, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Zamfara State Police Command, through phone calls and SMS, proved abortive.
A security source in the area who craved anonymity, told HumAngle that attacks were bound to intensify in Birnin-Magaji LGA, an area that shares a border with Kaura where an election re-run was to be held. He alleged that Ado Aleru, a wanted terrorist who was conferred with a traditional title in 2022 under the previous government, is likely to lead this terror.
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