Terrorists invade 50 communities, abduct hundreds of people in Nigeria – Lawmaker

Terrorists have sacked about 50 communities and abducted hundreds of residents after weeks of incessant attacks in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, a lawmaker from the area, Bello Hassan, has said.

Bello Hassan, who represents the Zurmi/Shinkafa Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, told BBC Hausa Service on Tuesday that the gunmen also killed two police officers and three civilians during the attacks.

PREMIUM TIMES last week reported how Zurmi, the second most populous town in Zamfara State, was overrun by terrorists who killed three officials at the emir’s palace and abducted many residents.

In his interview with the BBC, Bello Hassan, said over 500 people may have been abducted in the affected villages over the weeks. He said the wanton attacks have forced many of the residents to flee their homes.

Those who have stayed behind are being molested by the gunmen who are attacking the communities day and night, Mr Hassan said, calling for intervention by the security agencies in the area.

“At Kanwa village on Saturday, the gunmen killed three people and abducted over 30 others. At Gidan Shaho in the Nasarawa area on Monday, they killed two police officers and wounded many people. We are now trying to ascertain the number of people missing following the (latest) attack,” the lawmaker said.

He said the attacks were continuing despite the efforts of the federal and state governments to check the atrocities.

“There is a need to redefine some of the approaches being deployed by the security operatives in fighting the terrorists in Zamfara,” Mr Hassan said.

“The truth of the matter is that the security operatives deployed in Zamfara State are insignificant. Some of them deployed in the areas have overstayed, some for eight years, others 10 years. They have stayed longer than necessary, they need to be changed. We have reported this issue severally to those authorities concerned but without any response.”

Mr Hassan urged the security agencies to send more officers to the area and change their tactics in fighting the terrorists.

Zurmi is the second most populous town in Zamfara after Gusau, the state capital. Lying on the border with Niger Republic and sharing boundary with Katsina State, it is one of the areas frequently attacked by terrorists in the state.

Many communities in Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi and Niger states are being attacked by different terror groups, locally called bandits.

The bandits usually ride in long convoys of motorcycles to their targets despite the presence of security personnel in the areas.

Source: graphic.com.gh