By Salim Yunusa
Bandits killed 222 persons and kidnapped 774 others in the last three months, Kaduna State Government has stated.
It also said bandits have begun to collect protection levies from farmers in communities across 12 local government areas.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who presented the report to Governor Nasir El-Rufai and other top government officials, also said 266 citizens were injured across the State while 8,553 cows and other livestock were rustled within the period under review.
Aruwan however noted 87 of the bandits majorly responsible for the killings and kidnap of innocent citizens of the state were killed within the period.
The Commissioner stated: “Banditry, violent attacks, communal clashes and reprisals in the second quarter accounted for 222 deaths across the State. Of this total, nine were women and eight were minors (below the age of 18).
“Of the total number, 159 deaths were recorded in Kaduna Central Senatorial District (72% of the total recorded). 156 of these occurred in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, Chikun and Kajuru LGAs. Igabi LGA recorded 44 deaths, and Birnin Gwari LGA 42. Chikun LGA had 37, and Giwa LGA 21. Kajuru LGA recorded 12 deaths in the second quarter.
“Southern Kaduna Senatorial District had 54 deaths in total, of which five were women and four were below the age of 18. Kachia LGA had 21 deaths, followed by Jema’a LGA with 14 and Kauru LGA with six. While the Northern Senatorial District recorded nine people killed in the second quarter (around 4 per cent of the total)
“Out of the 774 people kidnapped in the second quarter, Kaduna Central Senatorial District accounts for 555 (nearly 72% of the total). Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Igabi, Chikun and Kajuru LGAs recorded 550 of these. Chikun LGA had 148 citizens kidnapped, Igabi had 139, while 91 persons were kidnapped from Giwa LGA. Kajuru LGA had 89 kidnapped citizens, and Birnin Gwari LGA recorded 83.
“Southern Kaduna Senatorial District recorded 164 kidnapped persons, with Kachia LGA reporting the highest number of 111. The Northern Senatorial District recorded 55 kidnapped persons, with 37 of these from Zaria LGA.
“Furthermore, bandits have begun to extract protection levies from some communities in return for permission to cultivate their fields. Many farmers in these areas, fearing for their lives and safety, have abandoned their fields altogether. This has already begun to affect crop yields, and the threat of food insecurity looms large.
“The most affected communities are in the frontline local government areas of Birnin Gwari, Igabi, Giwa, Zaria, Chikun, Kauru, Kajuru, Kachia, Kagarko, Zangon Kataf, Jema’a and Sanga,” he said.
Receiving the report, Governor Rufai called on citizens to be law-abiding.