Fleeing villagers storm Zamfara Government House to seek protection from bandits

Dauda-Dare Lawal

Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal

By Ishaq Zaki

Hundreds of fleeing villagers of Bini community in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara stormed Government House, Gusau, on Sunday seeking government’s protection against bandits.

The villagers, mainly women and children said they fled their village following the withdrawal of military security personnel from the area.

A male among them, Malam Umar Salisu, confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that they had to flee from the community following the withdrawal of military personnel from the area.

“Before now, there were military personnel attached to our village. Some of them were killed by bandits while some were withdrawn on Sunday.

“There are no security personnel in our area now. That is why we decided to carry all our wives and children to come to Government House and seek for government’s intervention,’’ Salisu said.

Another fleeing community member, Hajia Aisha Usman expressed displeasure at the condition of people of the community.

“We are highly disturbed. We receive threats of attacks from bandits on daily basis.

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“There are no security personnel to protect us. We are seeking for government’s intervention,’’ she said.

Yet another community member, Malam Wakkala Gurgu said: “we decided to come to Government House to inform government about security threats in our community.

“We want government to take quick action as regards the security situation. Bandits are currently in our communities.

“We want government to help us and deploy security personnel to our area,’’ Gurgu said.

Addressing the gathering on behalf of the state government, Commissioner for Science and Technology, Alhaji Wadatau Madawaki explained that the bandits were mounting pressure because government had refused to negotiate with them.

“The government of Gov. Dauda Lawal maintains its stand that it will not negotiate with bandits. I am happy with the way and manner you have conducted yourselves. I urge you to continue to be patient. Government has been making efforts to end lingering security challenges in the state,’’ he said.

Madawaki added that government had made arrangements to return the fleeing villagers to their community in the company of security operatives.

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