There are strong indications that three local government areas; namely, Sakaba, Donka/Wasagu and Fakai in Kebbi State are witnessing increased invasion of bandits in the last one week with thousands of villagers fleeing their communities for safety.
Confirming the development, the state Commissioner of Information, Barrister Rakiya Tanko Ayuba, assured that the state government was doing everything possible to bring normalcy to the affected areas.
A member representing Sakaba constituency at the Kebbi State House of Assembly, Hon. Salisu Dangoje, noted that the security challenges in the area are quite alarming and called on the government for urgent assistance before it becomes too late.
Recall that banditry, which started as isolated cases in Zuru Emirate some seven years ago, had become a large scale daily occurrences from 2020 to this year, taking to a peak in the last one month with many people becoming victims of the insecurity.
Following the insecurity situation, a large number of livestock have been rustled and mostly their owners displaced from their communities.
Presently, there are reports of ongoing raids in rural communities, usually in broad daylight, causing running for the safety of their lives from their ancestral homes.
The security challenges are causing a massive influx of villagers who sometimes trek for hours to reach the nearest urban or semi-urban areas that are considered safe in Zuru Emirate.
According to the village head of Donka, Mallam Jibrin Abubakar, “Right now, the number of refugees in Donka town is three or four times the number of residents here.”
He explained that he can’t estimate the numbers of people running from other places to his community, stressing that they are in their thousands and they are still coming each day and feeding them is a huge challenge.
He observed that most of them escaped with only what they had on, carrying not a grain of food, lamenting that some of the women resorted to begging not knowing what will happen in the next few weeks.
The village head said that displaced persons are almost everywhere and look secure in the Emirate including Zuru town, and its satellite areas of Sabon Gari and Dabai town.
According to him, other places where displaced persons could be seen are Ribab, Bena, Waje, Ayu, Yalmo and even vulnerable Unashi, which was also viciously attacked last April.
Other places with IDPs are Diri Daji, Dirin Gida, Jan Birni, Beve, among other places, stressing, “We are hungry all the time and we don’t know how long we can manage it here,” according to Mariam Bitrus, 50, mother of 11 children at the United Mission Church of Africa (UMCA) at Diri Daji.
Mariam Bitrus stated that her village (Maganda, Adai ward in Sakaba LGA) was attacked by thieves and they stole their cattle and burnt their grains and had to run for their safety.
According to Kebbi State Commissioner of Information, Barrister Rakiya Tanko Ayuba, the state government and individuals have donated food items recently, stressing that more is still needed.