Armed bandits have killed eight people and kidnapped 25 others in Gora Namaye town within Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
The incident happened in the early hours of Monday.
Locals say the gunmen, in their large numbers, attacked the community around 1:30 am and started shooting sporadically, leading to the deaths and abduction.
The police command in the state confirmed the incident. A tactical operations unit has been dispatched to the affected area to restore normalcy and rescue the abducted victims, the command added.
One too many
Zamfara has remained a hotbed for gun-wielding bandits and kidnappers; the latest incident is one of several cases in recent times.
Few days ago, bandits launched an assault on Adabka community in Bukkuyum Local Government Area, kidnapping the community’s district head, Alhaji Nafiu Shehu.
A similar event took place in Rini town where the marauders with heavy gun power abducted over 60 people, according to accounts by residents.
While no deaths were recorded in Adabka and Rini, residents of Randa village in Dansadau Emirate of Maru Local Government Area were not as lucky.
It was a bloodbath in Randa as the bandits killed 11 people and kidnapped over 40 others, leaving the community in utmost dismay.
Religious centres and citadels of learning have not also been spared the nightmare.
The latest school attack took place in the dead of night on Sunday August 15. While students of the College of Agriculture and Animal Science in Bakura slept, the bandits invaded their school, killing security personnel and whisking away 15 students.
About five staff members of the college were also abducted.
Although three people were rescued following a swift response by security operatives, the whereabouts of other victims are yet to be ascertained. The kidnappers are also demanding an outrageous sum of ₦350 million for their release.
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Why Banditry Escalated?
In one of his most recent comments on the matter, Governor Bello Matawalle attributed the escalation of banditry and kidnapping in Zamfara to past governments’ inability to resolve the lingering conflict between herders and farmers.
Matawalle also inferred that the failure of some states in the Northwest region to enter into dialogue with the bandits further led to the degeneration.
The governor equally identified the killing of a prominent Fulani leader in Dansadau as another reason for the spate of banditry in the state. He said followers of the slain Fulani leader in Zamfara, Kebbi, and Sokoto states became aggrieved and started attacking perceived killers of their leader to avenge his death.
This, he said, led to hostilities between the Fulani and Hausa communities, with each group attacking and killing one another.
Speaking through his Commissioner-designate, Ibrahim Dosara, during a security conference in Kaduna State, Governor Matawalle said the herders and farmers’ conflict lingered due to the weakened of traditional institutions and the judiciary in resolving the problem or prosecuting offenders.
He noted that the inability of the government to resolve the conflict consequently made some of the actors involved devise other means of tackling the problem, which resulted in banditry.
Other contributory factors, according to the governor, include the proliferation of arms. He said the ammunition are being brought from countries like Mali, Libya, and Chad through the porous borders.
The governor did not – in his statement – suggest how the menace could be resolved.