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Accommodation crisis eminent in Kaduna as exodus hits bandits-ridden communities

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Inhabitants of many communities living on the outskirts of Kaduna main town, who are consistently hit by terrorist attacks and killings, have began to migrate with their families to urban centres, for fear of terror attacks and kidnapping.

The rate of migration is on the rise and, given the rising profile of these terror attacks, kidnapping and killings and related incidents, the situation may further snowball the already existing hardship and accommodation crises in the state, if not promptly tackled.

Although, of the many areas so far affected, the communities worst hit, among the outskirts of Kaduna Town, include Ungwan Gimbiya, Gonin Gora, Juji, Marraban Rido, Aguwa, Narriah and, most recently, Gbagyi Villa.

Our correspondent, who monitored the ugly situation in Kaduna, reported that only a few places have not encountered the bandits’ attacks, kidnappings and killings at the outskirts of the city.

According to him, in Ungwan Gimbiya, an occupant and his family were recently kidnapped for N10 million ransom. “The victim pleaded with his relatives to find a buyer of his new house (a flat) he built at the cost of N5 million, where the incident occurred. But, funny enough, after a long while of canvassing for buyers, the relatives could not find a single person to price the building for even N1 million.”

The family, according to our reporter, later engaged in bargaining with the bandits and later provided everything demanded from the family as ransom, including some money. 

“Despite the ransom, the man was later killed and his wife and one child reportedly released. Thereafter, many of his neighborhoods fled the community in search of resettlement in the urban area,” he narrated.

The same problem is applicable to Ungwan Gimbiya, Juji and Gonin Gora, along Kaduna-Abuja highway, respectively. “Kidnapping in these areas,” he said, “became the order of the day. In fact, at a certain point in time, bandits’ attacks and killings in these areas became so rampant and were no longer announced by the family or even reported by the media.

“The owner-occupier residents also commenced migration with some of them landing in Barnawa area, paying as high as N250,000–N300,000 (per year) for accommodation.

“These continued until the time when the kidnapping incidents became less and less issues, and the security operatives themselves could no longer help matters, according to complaints by some families, who pleaded anonymity.”

Recent findings revealed that, most occupants of the under-listed communities have also fled to neighboring towns and communities. In Juji community, where Dr Ataga’s wife was kidnapped and killed, the situation is the same, if not worse. It was alleged that the inhabitants of the large community come to the place in the morning period and ‘disappear’ in evening to go and spend the night elsewhere, for fear of bandits’ attacks and invasion.

The situation continues to heighten with the recent upsurge of bandits’ invasion, kidnapping and killings in Ungwan Gimbiya and the popular Gbagyi Villa, behind Kaduna Polytechnic in Sabon Tasha campus, which previously hosted the institution’s Mass Communication Department.

“As at Thursday, reports filtering from the communities – mostly of U/Gimbiya and Gbagyi Villa occupied by Gbagyi indigenes of Kaduna State, the exodus of people migrating to ‘safe havens’ of Television Garage and other neighboring towns have reportedly tripled,” according to a victim, who is formerly a resident of the area, who pleaded anonymity, for security reasons.

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