By Ibrahim Kaulahi
As banditry become unabated in Zamfara State, communities have continued living in fear to the extent no social activities could take place, the situation had compelled people to sleep even on trees inside bushes as alternative residences.
According to the perception of the affected communities, the banditry has come to stay considering it’s size and speed which dominated the too slow measures put in place by the governments and security operatives in fights to restore normalcy.
A member of a community under Bagega district in Anka local government area identified as Balan Kassu, said the bandits were reluctantly allowed to have become all that powerful that they can make some places ungovernable in the state.
In Dansadau district, the surrounding villages as according to the residents who fled to remote places including Dansadau district for safety, said bandits were in control, “We work for them whenever they directed us, be it on farms for their consumption, etc”.
Malam Baura of Lingyado village, said they cannot face the bandits with locally made weapons because they always carried AK47, AK49, and even GRPG rifles with them. That was the reason all the attacked communities must give up and comply with their orders.
About five communities under Kurya Madaro district in Kaura Namoda local government area of Zamfara State have deserted their homes for safety fear for possible attacks over their failure to pay what has levied on them by bandits.
Speaking to our Correspondent, a resident of Balankadi village who is taking refuge in Kurya Madaro district identified as Malam Rabi’u Abubakar, said they were asked by bandits to pay the sum of N2 million before they would be allowed to continue enjoying relevant peace.
Abubakar further narrated that, the people of his village (Balankadi) were able to generate only N1.5 million and handed over to the bandits, but that was not enough to free themselves from further attacks as frequent invasions into the village by bandits continued.
“The bandits used to rape our mothers, wives, daughters and sisters anytime they invaded, they also kill anybody that shows any sign of resistence, these were all in addition to breaking our stores and shops for food and sometimes to even set some houses ablaze.
“We are not safe at all, our animals, houses, farms and rights to peaceful living were takenover by the lawbreakers, the reason we decided to flee to another place for safety instead to remain there receiving orders from bandits.
“As I am talking to you now, not even a hen was left there in our village, we have dispersed to places including Kaura Namoda, Tsafe, Bungudu local government areas and some have even fled to Gusau, the state capital.
“Apart from our village, other neighboring communities including Yamutsawa, Chansake, Tungar Mudi and ‘Yar Gurbi were suffering the same experience by the bandits from the camps under the leadership of Yellow, Magaji and Dan Sa’a”, Abubakar has added.
He further cried that, there has not been any presence of security operatives, the development which gave the bandits opportunity to take total control of the areas, only the bandits’ orders were in force.