By Abba Gwale
The once quiet and peaceful Sabuwa village in Katsina state is now a source of nightmare to its indigenes. The residents now have to cross to the neighbouring Hayin Gari village or other close by communities, every evening from 5:30-6:00 pm, for their safety.
The reason is not farfetched. Recently, there is increasing rate of banditry and kidnapping in their village.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, one of the residents narrated how lack of adequate security personnel in the village has forced them to prefer sleeping in neighboring villages for safety.
“Now we cannot eat dinner at home. Whenever the food is ready we would pack it inside polythene bags and migrate to other safer villages. If you see what’s happening you would pity us. Every evening, people carry their children on their backs to migrate to another village where they can sleep with eyes closed,” he said.
BBC Hausa reported that the residents migrate daily to neighboring villages, and even to some part of Birnin Gwari, in Kaduna state. This migration has become a routine every evening, because of the fear of bandits that are attacking the village regularly.
The report further highlighted that there’s surge in attacks in many villages from bandits and kidnappers. On Wednesday, gunmen kidnapped about ten people including the village head of Gamji.
An anonymous person, who spoke about the issue, said the kidnappers have asked the village head to point out those among the people they kidnapped that cannot pay ransom so that they would free them.
An eye witness narrated that several communities have faced attacks by the bandits. He listed communities like Sayau, Tashar Bawa, Unguwar Na-Kaba, Dungun Mu’azu, all in Sabuwa village came under attacks from gunmen recently.
Responding to BBC inquiry, Katsina state command’s Police Public Relation Officer, SP Gambo Isah, has confirmed that they are monitoring the situation. The police is tracking the condition of the kidnapped people from Gamji village, including the village head. He expressed confidence that the command is working hard to stop the incessant attacks bedeviling the area.
Nigeria is facing multiple security threats, with increasing rate of banditry in the northwestern states, especially Zamfara, Kaduna, and Katsina states.
Recently the Nigerian Army has organized special operation in the region to curtail the spates of insecurity. However, the problem is still persisting, and even forcing some residents to run for their dear lives.
It’s estimated that the insecurity in the North has created over 2-million internally displaced people.