Protesters block Zamfara Govt house gate over soldiers withdrawal, as banditry persists

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From Maiharaji Altine Salah

There was tension in Gusau, the Zamfara state capital last Sunday when residents of Bini village in Maru local government area of the state blocked the Gusau Government House gate.

They were protesting against withdrawal of security personnel from their village despite persistent bandits’ attacks on their community.

Some protesters at the Gusau Government House gate

The villagers, who were in large number blocked the Government House main gate in a bid to draw the attention of the state government to come to their aid and provide security personnel to their village which they said has been taken over by bandits.

They condemned the nonchalant attitude of the state government for not redeploying the security personnel to their village despite the persistent attacks by bandits on daily basis.

They vowed that they would not leave the Government House until when the security personnel were drafted to drive away the bandits currently occupying their village.

Motorists were seen stranded around the Government House area as the demonstrators blocked the major road where they sat on the road to prevent any movement of vehicles.

The leader of the protesters who gave his name as Sani Aliyu said, the bandits were presently in the their village, operating freely due to none presence of the security personnel.

According to him, the military personnel who were earlier sent to the village to fight the bandits were later withdrawn.

He maintained that, the bandits have almost taken over the village, lamenting that, “Most of the villagers have fled to other places both within and outside the state.

He stressed that, they reported the issue to the state government for necessary action but nothing was done.

“We reported to the authorities about the critical situation we are in, but no action was taken, as such, we are not going anywhere”.

“We will continue to be here until the state government mobilizes security personnel to our village to protect us”. 

Addressing the protesters on behalf of the state government, the commissioner of education, Wadatau Madawaki sympathized with them and commended them for the maturity they exhibited during the demonstration.

He maintained that, the bandits were on rampage all over the state simply because they wanted the state government to reconcile with them”.

The commissioner stressed that, Governor Dauda Lawal would not reconcile with the bandits but would continue to fight them until they finally surrender.

“The bandits have been on the rampage these days in order to force the state government to have dialogue with them”.

“Governor Dauda Lawal has since the day he assumed office informed made it clear that, he would not reconcile with the bandits but will continue to fight them until they surrender”.

The commissioner further explained that, the state government has directed the military to deploy its personnel to the village without further delay.

“I want to, on behalf of the state government sympathize with you on the situation you find yourselves”.

“The state government has directed the military to escort you back to your village and they will remain their until the situation  improves”.

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