…Kidnap over 40.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Barely a month-and-half after appointment of Army Service Chiefs, terrorists have invaded Birnin Gwari community in Birinn Gwari LGA of Kaduna State, killing an Islamic leader and three others.
The terrorists also reportedly abducted scores of other residents to an unknown destination, at different times, according to report released yesterday.
Chairman of the Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressives Union (BEPU), Ishaq Usman Kasai, in a statement, said the community was in a sorrowful mood as a result of the incident.
He said: “We sorrowfully mourn the death of the Vice-Chairman of Jama’atul Izalatul Bid’ah Wa Iqamatus-Sunnah (JIBWIS), Birnin-Gwari Branch, Malam Yakubu Muhammad Bugai, and three other farmers who were killed by the murderous armed bandits, who have been unleashing terror in the area.
“The JIBWIS leader was shot on Wednesday, 26/7/2023, at his farm located around Rema area and was later evaluated and taken to Jibril Mai-Gwari General Hospital sustaining gunshots on his abdomen and arm.
“Regrettably, he passed on at 7:30am the following day. Until his murder, Mal Yakubu Bugai was a strong pillar, pioneer member and also the Vice-Chairman of the Birnin-Gwari Orphans Foundation, which is an organisation devoted to taking care of thousands of orphans left behind by mostly victims of armed banditry in the insecurity-ravaged area.”
BEPU Chairman further said: “In another sad development, around Sabon-Layi, Kurgi, Yelwa, Tashan-Keji, Shiwaka, Ungwan Danfulani and many more rural communities in western part of Birnin-Gwari, who are sharing boundaries with Kamuku and Kuyambana Forests, which are serving as hideouts of the bandits, large number of locals were kidnapped at their farms. In fact, the situation is so rampant and complex for one to choose among the incidents to report.
“The bandits also herd over people’s farms in those areas. In Sabon-Layi community alone, more than 10 farms (especially those with grown up maize) have been cleared deliberately by the bandits’ cattle. In fact, the bandits told the farmers to stop wasting their time going to farm in the area because, even if they do, they will not allow them to harvest and may end up being killed or abducted.”
He further disclosed that, “On Friday, 21/7/2023, the bandits invaded Ungwar Bawa in Randagi Ward and kidnapped 28 persons, including women and children and also killed one and shot four, who are currently receiving medical attention at various health facilities. However, 13 out of the captives have managed to escape from their den.”
“On Tuesday, 25/7/2023, the bandits attacked Rafin Zango, around Eka Farm, and kidnapped two persons who were heading to Gagumi community from Birnin-Gwari Town.
“Also, on Wednesday, 26/7/2023, they invaded Ungwan Roka of Kakangi Ward, killed one person and kidnapped nine. On Thursday night (27/7/2023), the bandits came back to a nearby community, Ungwan Danfulani, killed one person and kidnapped seven from one family.
“Earlier on the same Thursday, 27/7/2023, the bandits blocked traders and grain suppliers who were on their way from the western part to the Birnin-Gwari weekly market. The bandits operated for about an hour and kidnapped six persons.”
Kasai lamented: “We are deeply concerned that farmers continued to be attacked whenever they go to their farms. This poses serious danger to this year’s targeted farming outputs, as about 70 per cent of farmlands are yet to be accessible.”