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Banditry: Fleeing villagers storm Zamfara Govt House for protection

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

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

One of 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 Some of them were killed by bandits while some were withdrawn on Sunday.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 the Government House and seek for government’s intervention,’’ Salisu said.

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

“We are highly disturbed. We receive threats of attacks from bandits daily. There are no security personnel to protect us. We are seeking for government’s intervention,’’ she said.

At the time of the visit of the villagers, Governor Dauda Lawal was not at the Government House.

He was said to have been out of the country, attending a forum, alongside the six other Northwest governors, in the United States of America

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

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

Meanwhile, bandits on Sunday killed five people including a 4-year-old girl in Tsafe town, Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

It was gathered that the bandits stormed the town on motorbikes around noon and fired gunshots to scare residents.

A resident, Aminu Musa, said: “They fired several gunshots at anyone on sight, thereby killing five persons including a 4-year-old girl. The girl was shot in the chest and she died instantly.

“Four other victims also died on the spot. This is the second time the bandits are attacking Tsafe town.”

Also, Ibrahim Kabir Tsafe called on the federal and state governments to deploy additional security personnel to Tsafe to protect the residents.

He added that many residents had fled their homes for fear of another attack, saying, “We are afraid the bandits may return to the town in the night.”

Daily Trust learnt that a combined team of additional security personnel comprising police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Community Protection Guards (CPG) had been deployed to the town to protect the residents.

Efforts to reach the Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Shehu Dalijan and police spokesman, Yazid Abubakar, proved abortive as neither of them responded to calls nor replied to text messages sent to them.

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