Saturday Big Story
Residents of Wanzamai a village under Tsafe local government area of Zamfara state and indeed the Nigerian police force have a disagreement over the number of people abducted by some suspected armed bandits last two days.
It could be recalled that on Thursday some suspected bandits armed with deadly weapons invaded Wanzamai village situated along Funtua-Gusau road and abducted scores of innocent people.
Wanzamai is a village situated about forty kilometres to Gusau the capital city of Zamfara state.
According to a source in the village Mal. Idris Muhammad he informed Radio France International Hausa service that over one hundred people were abducted in the Wanzamai attack on Thursday.
He stated that, those abducted were children mostly with lower age and, according to him, they were abducted at the outskirt of Wanzamai when most of them were going to the bush to gather locally made firewood.
On the cause of the attack, Mr. Idris stated that, it was a reprisal attack; hence the security operatives attached to Wanzamai had on few days back killed some suspected armed bandits in the area.
He stated that even though they planned to launch a reprisal attack against the people of the village, they could not enter the village directly because the security forces were combat ready to confront them and as such, they decided to stay at the outskirts of the village and be abducting young men and women going to the farms.
POLICE DENIES ABDUCTION OF OVER (100) PEOPLE IN THE WANZAMAI ATTACK
Zamfara State Police Command confirmed the abduction of only nine persons as against (100) reported by some sections of the media.
Spokesman of the police in Zamfara CSP Shehu Muhammad through a statement issued on Friday insisted that the figure they have confirmed was based on the data collected from the village head of the area.
“The Command therefore urges the public to discountenance some sections of the media, reporting the abduction of 80 people. Tasking the media to verify their information before going on air”.
“The command urges the Public to disregard the outrageous figures being circulated in some section of the media” CSP Shehu added.
The Command also appealed for continuous partnership from the public to ensure safe rescue of the victims”.
“The Commissioner of Police Zamfara State Police CP Kolo Yusuf psc, has reassured the Public , especially families of the abducted women and Children of Wanzamai Village in Tsafe LGA of the State that, the command together with the military operatives and vigilantes are making tireless efforts to rescue the victims hale and hearty and re-unite them with their families/relations”.
He assured that additional security reinforcement had been provided as search and rescue operations had since begun.
MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY OF ABDUCTED CHILDREN LAMENTS, COUNT EXPERIENCE.
Members of the family of those abducted in Wanzamai had continued to raise palpable fear with regard to the safety of their abducted children.
One of the residents of the Wanzamai area told this medium that the family members of those abducted could not sleep since after the occurrence of the incident.
He said the fear become increasing since everyone in the village has either a son, grandson or a direct relation that is involved in the tragedy.
Some parents interviewed also insisted that the fear they have is they don’t know the condition of these young children in the hand of their abductors hence , there is no further explanation with regard to what the government and indeed the security agencies are doing to get the situation rescued.
THE TRAGEDY IS GETTING RENEWED AGAIN IN ZAMFARA
One of the observers of social and political affairs in Zamfara Malam Bala Ibrahim told this medium in an interview that it is becoming alarming that the tragedy of banditry and kidnapping is getting renewed in Zamfara.
He lamented that the Wanzamai scenario occurred a few days after some female students of the Federal University Gusau were abducted at their hostels in Sabon Gida noting that the trend is portraying Zamfara in a horrible light again.
“The worry of everyone is that there are significant number of police and military checkpoints from Sheme to Zamfara you can count as many of them as possible but yet, the road is becoming deadlier by the day.
He noted that the security operatives, especially the police and army need to review the security architecture of the Funtua-Gusau highway and came up with the best option of making that part of Zamfara secured.
Unless the review is made, all the villages along that highway and even the commuters plying that road may not have the rest of mind anymore.