His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kaura-Namoda, Major Sanusi Muhammad Asha (rtd) is one of the first class Emirs in Zamfara state. His convoy was attacked by bandits along Kaduna-Funtua road as he was returning to the state from Abuja. He escaped unhurt but eight people in the convoy were killed. In an interview with Maiharaji Altine in his palace at Kaura-Namoda, Emir Sanusi explains how his convoy was ambushed:-
Sir, Your convoy was attacked when you were returning to Zamfara state after an official engagement in Abuja. How did this happen?
Emir:- Actually this has happened. We left Abuja heading to Zamfara state, between eight to ten o’clock in the night my convoy was attacked near a village called Marabar Maska. It is a border village between Kaduna and Katsina states.
The road is in bad shape, as such we were moving very slowly. As we were approaching the village, the gunmen came out of their hiding places and began to shoot at us from all directions. Incidentally, a Hilux vehicle (Pilot) which was conveying my police escort and the palace staff was hit by the bullets and skidded off the road where it was plunged into a ditch. The Gunmen killed all the eight people in the Pilot through a close range Gunshots.
My Car was not affected by the gunshots, as such I escaped unhurt. I told my driver to stop at the nearby village for me to ask if there were policemen around but the villagers told me that unless I go to Funtua in Katsina state.
So immediately I reached Funtua town, I went to the office of the Area Commander where I met with the police on duty, introduced myself and intimated them about what happened to me and asked them to link me with the Area Commander who I was only able to spoke with him through a phone of one of the policemen on duty.
I also told him that I needed an urgent attention as I left my people in a terrible situation. The Area Commander only directed me to meet the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Funtua who I also spoke with through a phone call.
I also called the General Officer Commanding 8 Division who is also in charge of Exercise Sahel Sanity, Maj. Gen. Aminu Bande and requested for his assistance, who promptly sent troops from Special Army Super Camp Faskari and from a nearby sector. On there arrival to Funtua they moved straight to the scene, they secured and cordoned the area until daybreak, but sadly all the Eight people were killed.
The Zamfara State government provided me with ambulances where the bodies of the eight deceased persons were evacuated to Kaura Namoda.
Question: But Sir, It was reported by the media that, you were rescued by a team of Policemen led by DPO Funtua and now you said you only spoke to him on phone when you went to his office. Can you please shade more light?
Emir:– I also saw this in both the conventional and New media. I am telling you that, the story was false. The police neither rescued me nor any member of my entourage, in fact uptil this moment the said DPO didn’t even know how I look like, as I am talking to you now I have not seen the DPO, he only asked his men to go to the scene with Armoured Personal Carrier after the bandits have left and after a short while the police returned with two corpses of Policemen who were deposited at a Hospital in Funtua. I was surprised to hear that I was rescued by Funtua Policemen.
Question: Sir, as a security personnel who rose to the rank of a Major in the Nigerian Army, what was your immediate reaction when you found yourself in that middle of the gunmen?
Emir: Well, I must react gallantly considering the number of the gunmen who were shooting sporadically from all directions. But as God wanted it to happen, my vehicle was not shot. It was the escort vehicle which was at the front. Of course as experienced Senior Army officer, I was calmed and very conscious. I told you that I stopped at a nearby village which is not up to a kilometer from the place where we were attacked.
Question: What is your feeling now that you lost eight of your people during the attack?
Emir:– I felt so sad. These people were my body guards, some of them were my blood relatives. The policemen killed in the incident were very loyal and dedicated officers. Infact all of them were dedicated and sincere persons. It is a great loss not only to their families but to Kaura-Namoda emirate, the state and the entire nation in general.
Question? Is there any move by your emirate to assist the families of those who have lost their lives?
Emir: That is a must for me. In fact since the incident occurred, some personalities have started bringing their personal donations for the families of the departed souls. You are here when one of them brought some foodstuffs as donation. Many people have contributed and are still contributing to the families of the deceases.
Question: Sir, you are one of the Emir’s in the country who have fallen victims of such attacks. What do you think should be done to address this menace?
Emir: There are so many things that need to be done as far as insecurity is concerned. First of all, all hands must be on deck so as to squarely deal with the criminals either through Kinetic or Non Kinetic approach.
Secondly, the traditional institution must be given full responsibility and be regarded as partners in progress. We should be allowed to contribute our quota in the fight against insurgency and banditry as well as other forms of crimes. We are more closer to the people than anybody.
So if given the chance, we can effectively deal with the security challenges. Don’t forget the fact that, 40 years ago, traditional rulers were fully in charge of administrative issues in their respective localities. In those days, whoever wanted to settle in a particular town or village must get a permit from either a village head or district head. And before you could get a permission to stay in a particular place, you will undergo series of scrutiny to know what type of person you are.
But nowadays, because we are sidelined and become only ceremonial leaders, everybody can come and settle in your domain no matter his status.
Thank you your Royal Highness
Emir: You are most welcome