Anas Sani Anka
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
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”.
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.