Thousands flee Kebbi communities over invasion by armed bandits

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Humanitarian is brewing in Zuru Emirate, Kebbi State as thousands of villagers have fled communities following the invasion by armed bandits. Three of the four Local Government Areas that make the Emirate that are worse hit are Sakaba, Donka/Wasagu and Fakai.

However, the state government has beefed in the affected communities, according to Kebbi State Commissioner for Information, Rakiya Tanko Ayuba.

A member representing Sakaba Constituency at the Kebbi State , Salisu Dangoje, lamented the humanitarian in his constituency and called for urgent assistance before is too late.

Zuru Emirate is said to have a landmass of about 9000kmsq, more than the size of Anambra and Lagos States combined. But banditry, which started as isolated cases in the Emirate some seven years ago, has now become large scale and a daily occurrence between 2020 and this year, getting to the peak in the last one month.

At the time of filing this report, there were reported raids ongoing in rural communities, in broad daylight. The situation is said to be causing a massive influx of villagers, who trek hours to reach the nearest urban or semi-urban areas that are considered safe in the Emirate.

“Right now the number of in Donka town is three or four times the number of here,” said Mallam Jibrin Abubakar Danko, the village head of Donka, a semi-urban settlement in Donka/Wasagu LGA.

can’t estimate numbers, but they are in thousands,” he explained. “They are still coming each day and feeding them is a huge challenge,” he added.

According to Danko, most of them escaped with only what they had on, carrying not a grain of food. “Some of the women have resorted to begging. don’t know what happen in the next few weeks,” he said, “We need urgent intervention,” he pleaded.

The displaced are almost everywhere that appears secured in the Emirate, including Zuru town, and its satellite areas such as Sabon Gari and the historically rich Dabai town.

places where human misery could be seen are Ribab, Bena, Waje, Ayu, Yalmo and Unashi, which was also viciously attacked last April. The IDPs were also sighted in places like Diri Daji, Dirin Gida, Jan Birni, Beve and other areas in the affected council areas.

“We are hungry all the time and we don’t know how long we can manage here,” Mariam Bitrus, 50, mother of 11 children putting at the United Mission Church of Africa (UMCA) in Diri Daji said.

Bitrus added: “My village, Maganda, Adai ward in Sakaba LGA, was attacked by thieves and they stole our cattle and burnt our grains. We had to run for our dear lives last week,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Kebbi State government is said to be aware of the humanitarian situation in the Emirate, as said was doing something about the situation.

According to Kebbi State Commissioner for Information, Tanko-Ayuba, the state government and well-meaning individuals donated food items recently, but more be done.

“No government or human being not be touched by what is happening in Zuru Emirate,” she said. “The governor is deeply troubled by the and he is putting in measures to assist the personnel on ground with more logistics and other support.”

(The Guardian)