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GUSAU-TSAFE FEDERAL HIGHWAY: THE UNTOLD STORY OF HOW BANDITS ARE ATTACKING INNOCENT COMMUTERS AND SOLDIERS

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BIG STORY
By
Anas Sani Anka
Managing Editor
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The situation report on Tsafe-Gusau highway

An assessment of week-long incident

The Dan Karami incident and resurgence of fresh attacks

Community having face-off with army operatives

Zamfara police reacts to the development.

Army spokesperson could not be reached 

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Late evening on Saturday a female soldier working in Kaduna who was on transit to Birnin Kebbi was over-powered by some group of armed bandits along Tsafe-Gusau Highway who succeeded in abducting her to their enclaves.

Apart from the abduction of the female soldier, the same group of bandits blocked the same Highway three times same day and in the incidents at least three soldiers were killed and dozens of innocent civilians were wounded and abducted.

A survivor of the 3:00pm incident told this Medium on phone that they were on their way to Katsina on board commercial Sharon vehicle when they saw another vehicle trying to make a u-turn and the next thing they could hear were sounds of gun-shots fired from different directions.

She also confirmed that the vehicle conveying soldiers was shot in their presence and she stated that she saw one of the soldiers being shot on the neck and another one on the leg.

She also stated that one of the passengers in their Sharon vehicle was affected by bullet x-ray which hits one of his legs noting that he was quickly rushed to a nearby Health facility for treatment.

“He met us at the Motor Park and we took off together with him conveniently. I could remember when we stopped at a filling station at the outskirts of Gusau he even bought something for the two of us that are females in the car unknown to us in less than five minutes he will be shot by the bandits”

Another source said, after the 3:00pm attack the bandits blocked the road around 5:30pm and abducted several numbers of people and also wounded another soldier who was allegedly shot on the neck.

He said many vehicles that survived the second attack moved back hurriedly to their original destinations as commuters and passengers became highly scared.
By 7;30pm the bandits blocked the same road and attacked some commuters including a female soldier and several other passengers were wounded by the attacks.

“At least over fifteen people were abducted at the Saturday’s attack along Yandoto-Tazame road and the most worrisome part of the incidents is that security operatives are badly involved to the extent that about four soldiers were casualties of the attacks”.

WEEK-LONG INCIDENT

According to a source in Tsafe, for close to a week now, Tsafe-Gusau Highway has become a dead trap for motorists and commuters since every blessed day bandits will block some parts of that road, kill abduct and wound several people.

They said it seems the security forces are becoming helpless since they are notable to abort the ugly development. “If you look at the scenario, there are about five military and police check-points along the roads but funny enough they are not able to abort the ugly development.

Another source explained that no one can estimate the number of people abducted along Tsafe-Gusau road since the nature and dynamic of the attack this time around is in the broad-day light and some commuters are no feeling more comfortable travelling along that road in the night than during the broad-daylight.

He said commuters plying that road, usually suffered in the hands of the security manning the Checkpoints hence they still find the comfort to stop vehicles in the name of stop and search.

A female commuter who spoke to the managing editor of Thunder Blowers said while the attack was going on their vehicle was turning toward Kwatarkwashi when an official of the FRSC operating along the Police Checkpoint in between Tazame and Kwatarkwashi stopped them and insisted that he can only allow the car to proceed if she gave them a telephone number. Despite the dangers we were trying at for him that bandits are currently operating just at nearby Tazame the FRSC official insisted that the car would not move till the telephone number of the woman who happened to be a married woman is given to him as condition of releasing them to move to a safer destination.

THE DAN-KARAMI STORY AND RESURGENCE OF FRESH ATTACKS

A source in Tsafe said based on unconfirmed information, some security agencies not identified arrested the wife of the notorious bandit leader Dan Karami when she came to Gusau last week.

He said, as a result of the development, the bandit leader threatened that unless his wife is released he will continue to make the high non-motorable.

He said beyond the attack on Tazame-‘Yandoto highway the bandit leader Dan-Karami is also alleged to be responsible for attacking motorists along Magazu-Kucheri Highway.

He added that about ten (10) cases of armed bandit attacks were recorded and severally reports are made but security operatives are yet to take most the appropriate steps in getting the security problems redressed.

Few days back, a bus loaded with passengers was ambushed and many people were wounded in that particular incident. A pregnant woman had suffered various injuries as a result of panic.

“people are no longer secured especially those driving from Sheme-Gusau because at any point in time the bandits can attack your vehicle. There is no point where one cannot be attacked along that portion of the road.

PEOPLE OF GIDAN DAWA COMMUNITY HAVING ISSUES WITH THE OPERATIVES OF NIGERIAN ARMY

It was not clear why the Nigerian army are having issues with the people of Gidan Dawa community after the Saturday’s incident hence presently the people of the community are in the run over their lingering face-off with the army on the need for them to produce the suspected bandits who are alleged to have been hiding in the area.

A source at the community of Gidan Dawa told this medium that, after the incident of Saturday which resulted to opening fire on the incoming vehicle of the army the army became angered and suspected that the bandits are hides in Gidan Dawa community.

He said the army had insisted that the bandits that are hiding inside the community and assured that they will not leave the community alone except they produced the hidden bandits.

He said himself and many others had left for Gusau since the pressure has been intensified by the army that the community have to produce the suspected bandits who are alleged to be hiding in the community.

“The soldiers have been intimidating us to produced the suspected bandits head-on and to the best of our knowledge we don’t have even an informer in Gidan Dawa. They have firing gun-shots and intimidating innocent people and because of that majority of us have left the community because of fear of uncertainty”.

“Few weeks back, the bandits killed about four people in our community and because of the availability of portable routes they move freely from Langa-Langa to Biyabiki up to Gidan Dawa and this is exposing our community to threat by the bandits”.

ZAMFARA POLICE REACTS TO THE INCIDENT

Zamfara state Police Spokesperson SP Shehu Muhammad said, the command is aware of some skirmishes along Gusau – Funtua road, even though, the highway is not as badly as it is being reported.

“However, the Commissioner of Police had deployed realistic security measures to curtail the security challenges along the highway”.

“Confidence building patrol has been intensified, as the ongoing effort has resulted to the arrest of many bandits and their collaborators”.

“The command is reassuring the commuters of its continuous commitment to the safety of their lives and property. We urge the peace loving people to continue to support the effort of the police to ensure that the state is rid of all criminal activities”

OUR EFFORTS TO REACH TO ARMY HAS FAIL

Effort to reach to the army spokesperson in Zamfara as at the time of filing this report has failed as the number of the army spokesperson in Zamfara was not recheable.

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ZAMFARA SEN. YAU INAUGURATES 2023 CAMPAIGN URGES CONSTITUENTS TO VOTE FOR TINUBU & ALL APC CANDIDATES

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The Senator representing Zamfara North Sahabi Alh Yau has inaugurate his 2023 campaign at Kaura Namoda local government area, the headquarters of the Senatorial zone.

The campaign inauguration was attended by hundreds of party supporters and well-wishers who joined the campaign rally with jubilation.

The Senator who expressed satisfaction with the effort he has put in place so far in delivering to his 2019 campaign promises assured that if provided the opportunity again, he will do more to consolidate from what he has done and ensure that more federal opportunities are brought to the door steps of his constituents.

He took time to make a review of his stewardship and thanked his constituents for given him the opportunity to represent them at the Nigeria’s upper chamber.

On the APC Presidential candidature, Sen. Yau in insisted that, Tinubu and Shetima Presidential candidature is the best option for Nigeria especially with the effort put in place by the Buhari led administration and why the gesture need to be sustained.

He urged people of his constituency to massively vote for Tunubu and Shatima as well as all the APC candidates across the board.

AFormer Governor Mahmuda Shinkafi, former Sen. Tijjani Yahaya and a host of other prominent personalities from the Zone attended the campaign Flag off.

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ZAMFARA: WHY ENGR SULEIMAN GUMMI’S DESPERATE TACTICS WON’T SAVE PDP

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OPINION ARTICLE

By

Yusuf Idris Gusau

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This is no doubt the best of times for the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara State.

The party and its many candidates deserve the sympathy of all for the current situation it finds itself in.

Having lost all hopes of making any impact in the forthcoming general elections, it has resorted to untoward means, behaving like a bull in a china shop, destroying anything and everything in its way.

But how can a party of PDP’s standing, which has been in power at some points for many years and its candidates behave like deranged women whose kids have suddenly gone missing?

In this moment of madness, there should be a sane member within the lot who could rein them in; a rallying figure who could calm the fraying nerves.

But when a ranking member of one of the country’s highest law making body, the House of Representatives, Suleiman Abubakar Gummi’s joined the fray, it then becomes obvious that the situation is irredeemable.

The party, as it were, is doomed and at a dire point of no return.

The honourable member of the House of Representatives has swelled the number of the PDP’s attack dogs whose targets include the ruling party and the state chief executive, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle.

In a press statement he recently signed on behalf of “PDP candidates” titled “On critical national alert” Gummi went the “dishonourable” path by throwing decorum to the wind and lunched viral attacks on person and personality of Governor Matawalle with no iota of respect for his seat as the father of the state.

In doing so he deployed uncouth, crude and abusive language symptomatic of those low level maniacs unleashed at every opportunity as dogs of war.

But why will anyone be surprised at the action of this charlatan who forgot that his behavior could rob off on the integrity of the lower chamber he represents and taint the reputation of his colleagues in that reputable and respected institution? He is PDP member in the state after all and their stock in trade is to cause breach of peace in the state.

In the said press statement, Gummi went a rigmarole quoting the respected late social crusader, Martins Luther King and dancing around in circle.

From all his outing and vituperations, the only take away was the supposed arrest on Monday, November 28, of the party’s candidate for Zamfara central senatorial district, Alhaji Ikira Aliyu Bilbis by the police on charges of vandalism, which he claimed were trumped up.

In trying to elicit public sympathy to himself and co-travelers, he lumped the current issue with the earlier arrest of the Nigeria Union of Journalists chairman in the state but as usual, his effort failed to invoke the emotion and public outcry he had envisaged.

But let us even give him the benefit of the doubt and interrogate the issues his outing threw up. He has informed the public why Bilbis was arrested, but said the charges were “trumped up”. Really?

How did Gummi who is a lawmaker come about such a position over an issue that is before a court of law? Why is he in a hurry to clear the accused even before the court adjudicate on the matter.

The police even from Gummi’s statement did the needful by arresting Bilbis. They (police) did not hold him or keep him for long in their cell but charged him to court after their investigation.

The onus is therefore on the accused to exonerate and clear himself of the allegations.

The court even went ahead to grant him bail as Gummi testified in his statement. So why is it anybody’s fault if the accused failed to meet the bail condition? And because his associate failed to meet the stipulated condition to effect his release, Gummi is now accusing the judge and police of being tools in the hands of Matawalle in his alleged witch hunt of the opposition.

If a sitting governor is desirous in tackling an opponent who is clearly linked with a crime it would have been easy to clamp such person in police custody and claim that investigation is still ongoing as has been the case everywhere.

However, in this case, the police did not waste anytime in charging the accused to court where he is expected to defend himself. The court and its presiding judge should be commended for the expressway it granted the accused bail instead of being needlessly vilified like Gummi is doing.

His allegation that Matawalle was trying to muzzle the main opposition to whittle down their power and influence in the forthcoming elections is laughable because the PDP is not in reckoning and not a threat to APC in anyway.

He even went ahead to list those he thinks Matawalle will go after including the party’s governorship candidate, Lawal Dauda Dare. Waoo! Is this not absurd? Is Lawal Dare even in contention for the governorship race with all the court cases dangling over his head?

The so called governorship is still traumatized over his defeat at the federal high court, which nullified the primary that produced him and recently, the Appeal court.

It is fundamental to note that his ordeals were from his own very party and has nothing to do with Governor Matawalle. So it’s absurd to blame others for PDP’s misfortune and allege that anyone would hunt it’s candidates whose political future are uncertain.

And resorting to violence as a means to an end like the party and its members have been doing could only heighten the already tensed atmosphere which Matawalle has been working round-the -clock to manage.

The billboard saga wasn’t the only violent imprints the party has left on its route to 2023, a rally at its governorship candidate’s home had led to lost of Iives even as many were wounded. It’s sad that Gumi left out such important development from his statement.

As per the NUJ chairman which Gummi tried unsuccessfully to lump Bilbis case with to draw inspiration, he should have done the needful by telling the public the background of the affected person and the circumstances leading to such state of affairs to enable them appreciate and interrogate the issue based on its merit.

It’s imperative that Gummi calls a press conference or issue another statement to shedlight on the matter.

Having come from an honourable family, one would have thought Gumi will keep the legacy of the parental training we thought he received, unfortunately, even if he had such grooming as he was growing up, elements of bad politics and the fear of losing in the upcoming 2023 general elections have infuriated to throw away his sensibilities and turn disrespectful, dishonourable and regardless.

Certainly, with the overwhelming wind of mass support and mass mobilization going on in the APC, the likes of Gumi will not even be noticed when the electorate cast their votes to bring in APC at all levels in the coming elections.

As it were, rep Gummi achieved nothing by his recent desperate tactics. The PDP is doomed and irredeemable, and by 2023 the party will go into permanent extinction in Zamfara State.

Yusuf Idris Gusau
APC Publicity Secretary
Zamfara State
4th November, 2022

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FMR. ZAMFARA GOV. YARI CONDOLES SEN. WAMMAKO

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Former Governor of Zamfara State Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar has paid a condolence visit to Sen. Aliyu Magatakarda WAMMAKO over the demise of his wife.

Yari who described the deceased as God-fearing and devoted Muslim who has offered much serving humanity.

He urged the husband and indeed the family to take solace and consider the exit of the deceased as a call to eternity.

He prayed for God almighty to grant her Jannatul Firdausi and blessed what she has left behind.

Sen. Aliyu Wammako thanked the former Governor and his entourage for the condolence visit and prayed for God almighty to bless them accordingly.T

he former Governor has among his entourage Amb. Abdulrahaman Buba Kwacham among many other prominent personalities.

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