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INSIDE STORY OF DAYS OF BLOOD-BATH IN ZAMFARA STATE.

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For the past three days it has not been well with the residents of close to twenty villages in Zamfara as bandits launched the deadliest attack which was assessed to be the most devastating since the history of the social conflict in the state.

It was very tragic as bandits moved in their hundreds armed with deadly weapons killing people in their dozens and setting the entire communities ablaze.

There are multiple narratives as regard to the cause of the Anka massacre as the most popular among them said, it was the popular notorious bandits’ leader Bello Turji that moved from his old settlement along Shinkafi Niger road to Barayar Zaki forest in Anka local government.

The movement of Bello Turji according to some sources is characterized by deadliest attacks on communities along the routes to his new settlement as the attack left over twenty thousand people displaced.

According to the data from the field, not fewer than (400) people most, especially members of the civilian JTF have been killed through multiple encounter with the bandits.

“We have buried close to four hundred people mostly members of the civilian Who were massively ambushed and killed by the bandits. It reached a point where we have to embark on mass burial of at least (10) persons per grave” a source added.

Though the bandits were also killed by civilian JTF the massacre left more than what many people would expect about the capacity of the bandits especially with the constant government pronouncements that it has made concerted effort to weaken the powers of the armed bandits.

The villages attacked and burnt by the bandits include Kurhwa Dwanya, Tungar Namore, Geza, Kan Iyaka, Rafin Gero, Tungar Isah, Tungar Roro, Tungar Tsaka, Shablin Godabe, Tungar Dangayya, Wanu, Inwala, Barikin Daji, Kauran Malam and Abare.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE RESPONSE OF THE GOVERNMENT AND SECURITY AGENCIES

In all our inquiries’ majority of the people in the affected areas said there has never been attempt for the security operatives to engage the bandits except the effort by the civilian JTF
.
“Throughout the three days encounter there are no security operatives deployed to face the bandits instead we were told a military jet has been deployed to engage the bandits but as a person, I have not seen the military jet with my eyes. I had been in Abare and move around the neighboring villages that are fairly safe for access to assess the level of damage and help in the evacuation of corpses, but I have not seen a single security personal deployed for that purpose.

Another source said, military personals made attempt to enter Abare and other neighboring villages but because of the fear of the ambush based on the intelligence report received that the bandits have scattered themselves all over the entry points they have some change of decision.

As I speak to you in all these villages mentioned, not a single conventional security personal are deployed to boost security and because of the fear of mass killings of the community civilian JTF people have chosen to flee out of their living communities” a source added.

Again as at the time of filing this feature story not a single press statement was issued by both the police or army regarding Anka mascre and heads of security operatives are yet to address the press regarding the tragic incident.

EFFORT OF BOTH THE FG AND STATE NOT SATISFIED (CSO’s)

The chairman of Zanfara circle a non-governmental organization Dr. Aminu Lawal Tsafe has declared that it was sad the Governor and indeed the security agencies could not make any realistic effort to save the ugly situation in Anka and part of Bukuyyum for the past days.

He said the visit on Saturday by the Governor is an afterthought since it was after intense pressure from the citizens that he sees reasons to pay assessment visit to the people affected.

He also corroborated the fact that neither security agencies nor relief materials were provided to the affected communities throughout the four days of the trauma faced by the people.

Chafe called on the Governor to make comprehensive assessment of the situation of thing and head straight to see the president and put heads together with the Federal government to see to the possibility of ending the carnage in the state.

“It was this morning we received the report that the Governor has gone to Anka and also relief materials have been sent to the affected areas noting that the government need to be more alive to the reality of the security situation in Zamfara state.

As for Advocacy Nigeria another non-governmental organisation, its state coordinator Rabou Sambo said it is time the state government ends its pretence on this issue of insecurity and be more alive to its moral responsibility noting that what happened in Anka is a clear reflection of the simple fact that these bandits are becoming the offshoot of a legitimate authority who can do and undo.

He said beyond the visit by the Governor the elders of the state need to come together and meet the president just the way other states are doing so that federal government can be able to understand the intensity of the situation and act passed to save the lives of the people.

He described the tragedy that befalls the people of Anka as something that is supposed to be seen as the biggest disaster that befalls the North throughout the history of social conflict in recent time.

CRISES OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS

According to one of our source majority of the residents of the affected villages, have fled their homes because the bandits sustained their serial attacks on these communities constantly for a period of four days effective from Tuesday.

The condition of the IDP’s in Anka has been worsened since they have been abandoned on the streets, government schools and other uncompleted structures without, food, medical attention and even their private safety.

He said there are over twenty thousand persons majority of whom were women and children that are roaming the streets of Ankh city without relative help and support from the government.

“There is no official designated camps where to host these IDP’s and the local government council is becoming g helpless and the IDP’s IDP’s, especially women and children are becoming more vulnerable to the immoral antecedents as they needed every relief available to sustain a living”.

He added “governments of the state and that of federal have not provided any relief until on Friday when things are becoming out of hand and as I speak to your children below the ages of five are dying of hunger and malnourishment as a result of hours of trekking to access Anka for safety”.

Another source in Gurusu under BBukkuym local government said “we have over two thousand IDP’s from both Anka and other villages under Bukkuyum that fled to Gurusu just to get access to the main road and some of them as I speak to you have started moving toward Sokoto and Kebbi through the Gummi border”.

A source from Anka Emirate said “the emirate council is helpless and it has exhausted all that it can do to support these vulnerable citizens of the emirates and the best option is for the government to open temporary camp for these people to move their so that they get proper social attention”.

THE AFTERMATH OF THE RELOCATION OF THE POPULAR BANDIT LEADER BELLO TURJI TO ANKA FOREST

The chairman of Zamfara circle Dr. Aminu Chafe said if the movement of the bandit leader Bello to his settlement as widely speculated would alone cause this kind of carnage in less than a week then from all indication the harder days ahead of the people around Anka forest are unpredicted.

He opined that, government of both state and federal need to seat up and mobilized coordinated and sustained military operations along the forest until when Turji fled or voluntarily surrendered.

He further suggested that, government of the state should liaise with the federal government to secure conventional arms and hand over to the screened civilian JTF so that they can be strengthened to defend themselves.

Chafe said civilian JTF can do much better if they are provided with sophisticated weapons to engage the bandits just the way their contemporaries succeeded in Karakkai and other places.

According to him government should not underestimate what the popular bandit leader can do if his excesses are not contained considering the wider network of the forest.

ENFORCEMENT OF FINES ON NON INVADED COMMUNITIES
IN ANKA AND BUKKUYUM

Some sources who were interviewed by Elhikaya of Voice of America have already confessed that there are communities along Anka and Bukkuyum that were not invaded but were asked to pay fine in alternative.

“Some communities were asked to pay fine of between (5M) and (10M) naira and were given this coming Monday as date line to ensure that the fine is paid and believe me, people from these communities who cannot pay the fine have started moving out to safer places due to the fear of fresh attacks after the Monday date line”.

“I am sure they can’t raise the money but some who were asked to give food in alternative have started raising the quantity of food to be handed over to the bandits through their agents” the source added”.

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MADAWAKI, BAKAUYE, ONE OTHER WITHDRAW FROM ZAMFARA PDP GUBERNATORIAL RACE

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An hour after the commencement of the PDP primaries in Zamfara three aspirants namely Mal. Wadatau Madawaki, Engr Ibrahim Shehu and Hafiz Nahuche have announced their withdrawal from the race.

They alleged that their withdrawal was as a result of irregularities observed shortly after the commencement of the voting.

One of the Aspirants Malam Wadatau Madawaki said, they are accusing the state party Chairman Col. Bala Mande Rtd of romancing with one of the aspirants alleging that, they have video evidence that, the party Chairman went around the hotels together with the aspirant canvassing for support from the delegates.

He also alleged that, the list brought from the National Headquarters of the party is adulterated with the names of APC members.

He also alleged that one of the members of the committee from the national was captured lobbying for votes from the delegates who cannot write their names on the ballot papers.

They announced that they have withdrawn from race and threaten to file an appeal to the national headquartered of the party for consideration.

They have also announced their readiness to proceed to court if their appeal is not considered.

 

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SERIAL ARMED BANDIT ATTACKS: ZAMFARA COMMUNITY CRIES OUT TO GOVT.

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Residents of Damaga village in Maru local government area of Zamfara state have cried out for help as bandits continue to launch serial attacks on their community, resulting in killing and abduction of many people.

A source who confided on this medium said for the past three weeks there was no day that will pass without the bandits launching attack either on the Damaga community as a whole or on individuals, especially local farmers.

He said, there are many people from Damaga and other neighboring villages who have been in captivity for sometimes and with the exception of those whose relations were able to raise money for ransom, the fate of those that have been in captivity is yet to be established.

He also said, many were killed especially when they went to their farms as the bandits insisted that, no farmer will be allowed to go to the farm for their agricultural activities.

Furthermore he added that, some residents who felt not secured, have already fled out of the Damaga community for safety.

Effort to speak to Zamfara police spokesperson SP Shehu Muhammad on the issue has failed.

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AS ZAMFARA PDP MOVE TO CONDUCT GOVERNORSHIP PRIMARIES, TWO ASPIRANTS STEPS DOWN AMBITION TO SUPPORT EX-BANKER

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Two gubernatorial aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party had stepped down their ambition to support the candidature of Dr. Dauda Lawal Dare Gamjin Gusau.

The immediate past Deputy Governor of Zamfara State Barr. Mahadi Aliyu Gusau has announced his decision to step down for Dr. Dauda Lawal via a statement from his former Principal Private Secretary Aminu Umar Game-Game.

He called on all the delegates who are fully supporting him to direct their vote to Dr. Dauda Lawal in the overall interest of the state.

Two days back, another aspirant Abubakar Nakwada Gusau has also announced his formal step down for Dr. Dauda Lawal.

The party primaries which is scheduled for Wednesday is to be contested between Gamjin Gusau and three other aspirants including a retired Director of Education at the UBEC Malam Wadatau Madawaki and former Federal lawmaker Ibrahim Shehu Gusau.

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