Tuesday, June 15, 2021 10:41 am
Zaria, the ancient Kaduna city which some of the indigenes fondly referred to as Zazzau Emirate is under siege of bandits who have practically turn living a hellish affair for majority of the inhabitants.
The city, a key link to the Northwest part of the country and hometown of Governor Nasir El-Rufai has witnessed series of kidnappings with many of the inhabitants now in the custody of bandits who are now demanding millions of naira to release them.
Some of the recent incidents in the town include the abduction of a pregnant woman, her two daughters, two lecturers and eight students by gunmen at the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic last Thursday.
The gunmen also killed one HND II student and injured another one.
Also, on Saturday evening, gunmen had abducted 12 persons across Kofar Kona, Kofar Gayan, Kofar Bai and Jos Road areas of the city.
The kidnappers are also active on Zaria-Kaduna road where they abduct and rob passengers on daily basis as well as in many rural communities in the state where their activities may not even come under the radar of the media.
The bandits have also kidnapped students and lecturers from the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU in the town.
Frustrated over the development, the Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli as reported by Daily Trust on Tuesday requested a meeting with officials of the state government and leaders of security agencies in the state.
Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs led the delegation to the meeting where the Emir poured out his frustrations about the impunity with which bandits operate in the town despite the many security formations it is hosting.
The Emir told his guests that in the latest of such incidents, bandits took a medical doctor and members of his family away from the premises of a hospital, a situation he said, necessitated the relocation of the patients in the facility.
“Can you see the danger that we are in? People are running away from hospitals for fear of being kidnapped. There are some of my district heads when I see them, my heartbeat doubles. They usually come to the palace to report one security matter or the other. One of them recently came here crying.
“A whole community, Dutsen Abba, was recently sacked by bandits. Three children of the district head were kidnapped with women and other residents. It is disheartening the report we are receiving where bandits were seen moving freely with guns in our communities. We think security issues no longer need cosmetics treatment. We need to be serious and be up and doing. The war is already at our doorsteps and if care is not taken, it will consume all of us.”
“What is happening here in Zaria is so disturbing, just as it is heart bugling. In this emirate, we have the Police College in Kaduna. There is Police Children School in Karau-Karau here in Zaria. We have the Nigerian Military School (NMS). There is Depot Nigerian Army and Military Police Cantonment in Basawa here in Zaria.
“We have Jaji where soldiers from different parts of the world come to train to gain promotion. There is an air force base in Kaduna and 1 Mechanised Division. Yet we are this vulnerable. We know that you are doing your best, but it is clear that more needs to be done. We are appealing for more action and more deployment,” he said.
In his response, Aruwan also noted that growing insecurity in Zaria will spell doom for the North-West.
He however reiterated their commitment of the state government to the fight against the bandits while appealing for support of the traditional institution and members of the communities at large.