2021 has been a roller coaster of events and we are not even halfway into the year. From terms like Boko Haram, a terrorist group that was once alien in the ears of Nigerian but has now become a name that brings fear, now we have the term Bandits. Bandits are used here as a catch-all term to describe numerous groups that have carried out vicious attacks on local communities, killing scores of people.These Bandits mainly target people in rural areas but also carry out highway ambushes, killing those who attempt to resist kidnapping or refuse to pay ransoms. Banditry violence has affected populations living in Nigeria’s Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Katsina, States in the Northwest. Just as Boko Haram has been said to comprise of Northerners and immigrants from Chad and Mali, bandits have been reported to be the same Northerners – the Fulanis. The ironic thing here is, however, the fact that they are actually abducting, killing, and requesting ransom on the heads of their fellow Northerners.
As Nigerians cry out for help from the government hoping for a change and a secured Nigeria, here are some of the communities in different States that have suffered attacks at the hands of these bandits and insurgents.
In this State, various communities have been attacked and most of the time, these attacks always end up in the death of the people. Several abductions have taken place in different communities in the State.
Igabi Local Government Area saw bandits sack 17 villages and they have become a holy terror to the villages under the local government to the extent that the people were not allowed to farm. Displaced persons, numbering about 2,000, had to take refuge at LEA Birnin Yero Primary School. The displaced villages include; Tura, Unguwan Gebi, Unguwan Dangauta, Unguwan Nayawu, Unguwan Makeri, Jagani, Sabon Gida, Dallatu, Unguwan Alhaji Ahmadu, Sabon Gari, Kusau, Gidan Sarkin Noma, Unguwan Pati, Unguwan Tofa and Sauran Giwa. The Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka-Kaduna, Mando area also witnessed the abduction of its female students in March 2021. This institute which is one of the four colleges under the aegis of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) was reported to have been attacked by gunmen who carted away with some of the students. Some of the students have been saved while we await more rescues.
Southern Kaduna has become a place for perpetual killings, there was also the abduction of pupils and teachers in the Birnin Gwari local government area of the State in the same month of March. The State government confirmed the abduction took place in a primary school under that local government and the number of the pupils at the time unknown.
Kaduna International Airport near Isara community was not spared. Some suspected bandits launched an attack on the Junior Staff Quarters of the Kaduna International Airport, carting away at least 12 people. The ugly incident was said to have occurred at the junior staff quarters which involved the breaking into of two apartments from where the missing persons were abducted, barely a year after the staff of the airport came under heavy attack by bandits.
Niger State is not left off the mark as it has also experienced the presence of Bandits and their evil deeds. On the 17th of February, 2021, a school pupil was killed and 27 others were abducted by armed men from Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.Yobe State
The State known as the Sahel of the nation is no stranger to Boko Haram, terrorists, and bandits in Nigeria. Dapchi, located in Bulabulin, Yanusari Local Government Area of the State witnessed the abduction of 110 schoolgirls aged 11-19 by the Boko Haram terrorist group in February 2018. These girls were students of the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi. Via negotiations, they have been released and their parents could not be happier, except one – Leah Sharibu.Kastina State
From killings to abduction to other numerous atrocities, the residents of Kastina State live in fear of bandits in their community. On the 11th of December, 2020, more than 300 schoolboys were abducted by bandits from a boarding school in Kankara. Although they have been released, the trauma, fear, and pain these young school children have been through can never be erased and got them into rehabilitation.Borno State
This State witnessed one of the most popular abductions by Boko Haram and to date, the people are still victims in the hands of these terror. An abduction that set the nation of Nigeria on its toes is that of the Chibok girls, who were abducted by the jihadist group Boko Haram on the 14th/15th of April 2014. The all-girls Christian boarding school’s unfortunate event opened the eyes of the Nigerian Government more to the atrocities committed by the terrorist group. It has clocked seven years since the abduction of these girls and not all of them have been rescued. Nigerian parents still cry out for the rescue of their young girls and hope the government will do something about it.
READ ALSO: 45 People Killed And Scores Injured As Bandits Attack Four Zamfara Communities
The string of attacks in the Northern part of Nigeria has had a lot of intervention from different bodies including international bodies. Just like the Chibok girls’ abduction, another act that had people clamoring for justice is the one that took place in Zamfara State. There was an abduction of female students from a school in Jangebe, Zamfara State, seeing over 300 female students of Government Girls Junior Secondary School, Jangebe, held captive by bandits. The gunmen were said to have stormed the school in Hilux vehicles and motorcycles on the 26th of February 2021 and carted away with their victims. One takes time to wonder why these bandits are always abducting female students most of the time. Bandits also launched attacks and kidnapped the 7 children of the State’s All Progressives Party APC Chairman, Alhaji Gyare Kadauri Sani, in Maru Local Government Area in January same year. Gyare’s children – Bashar, Abubakar, Haruna, Habibah, Sufyanu, Mubarak, and Armiya – were said to have been kidnapped by the bandits in Kadauri village.
Anka & Maru had its own share of the evil occurrences. The Emir of Anka, Attahiru Ahmad revealed that more than 100 miners operating between Anka and Maru LGAs in the State were abducted by bandits since March 2nd, with 10 of those kidnapped already dead, killed by their abductors. No fewer than 60 people have also been killed in bandits attacks on some villages in Magami District, Gusau Local Government Area of the State. Villages attacked by these bandits include Yar Doka, Kango, Ruwan Dawa, Madaba, Arzikin Da, and Mairairai. Deadly attacks have raged across Zamfara State where bandits have thrived.Sokoto State
The State known as the Seat of the Caliphate doesn’t seem to have been excluded when it comes to attacks by these bandits. Time and time again they have terrorized different communities under several local governments in the State. A pre-dawn attack on Tara village in Sokoto in March was the latest in a series of attacks by the criminal gangs known locally as bandits who for years have terrorized communities, killing, pillaging, and kidnapping people. Suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked the convoy of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom in Tyo Mu near Makurdi on the 20th of March, along the Makurdi/Gboko road while the Governor was traveling to Makurdi.
The gunmen were later revealed to be Fulani herdsmen who without fear said they intended to kill the Governor for being against their activities in his State.
Only very extensive and fact-find research can expose the real communities that have been attacked by these bandits and there may be some which are not so popular and pronounced and it is more saddening that the Government has not found a way to tackle these activities. If it declares war and conquers the bandits in a State, there is the fear of resurrection in another, m or even in the same State which may be more deadly than the first. In the same vein, negotiations, amnesty, and other forms of sublet means are not proving to be helping the matters. The Government sincerely needs to seek international and external help on conquering both banditry and insurgency and return the nation to the State of normalcy.Photo Credit: Getty
Trending video of the day;