Bandits’ Onslaught on Katsina Puts Residents on Edge

In the past month, more than 200 people were massacred and scores kidnapped in fresh onslaughts orchestrated by armed bandits in some communities of Dutsin-Ma, Danmusa, Safana, Batsari, Sabuwa, Faskari, Kankara, Dandume and Kurfi Local Government Areas of the state.

The renewed attacks have forced hundreds of residents of the affected local governments who survived the deadly invasions to flee their ancestral homes to the headquarters of the council areas including Katsina, the state capital.

Sadly, these local government areas have been under siege by the armed bandits and kidnappers with repeated attacks, killing, and maiming of women at many local communities in the areas, forcing thousands of farmers to abandon their farmlands.

For instance, the latest simultaneous onslaughts on Batsari communities, according to residents, had killed 34 people and forced residents of Kurmiyal, Yandaka, Maidoriya, Tashar Kadanya, Garin Goje, Watangadiya and Dutse Maizane to abandon their villages.

Hundreds of residents, mostly women and children who survived recent deadly invasions in Batsari communities are currently taking refuge in Batsari town and some of them have relocated to Shagari-low cost, Modoji, and Sabon Gida in Katsina metropolis.

One of the survivors of the attacks in Batsari, Tasi’u Farouk, said the hoodlums had within one month killed over 50 people and kidnapped several others in various communities in the council area, rendering hundreds homeless.

Farouk, whose wife and three children were killed in a recent attack in Tsauwa village lamented that Batsari has become a theatre of war due to prevailing attacks orchestrated by the armed bandits.

He said: “The bandits burnt my wife and three children beyond recognition in Tsauwa. I left the village after the attack on February 14 and I am now taking refuge in Shagari-low cost with some of our relatives without food.

“They kill our people every day and cart away all their means of survival. We are appealing to the state government to come to our rescue because these attackers are bent on eliminating us all.”

Another refugee, Sefinatu Idris, whose father, Idris Yusuf, and Uncle, Kabir Isa, were killed in Kurmiyal village, explained that banditry and other heinous activities have made life unbearable for her and the entire family.

Sefinatu, who wept uncontrollably while narrating her ordeal, said: “Since the untimely death of my father and uncle, I and my mother have resorted to begging as our means of survival. We hardly eat in a day. The government should please assist my mother.”

The armed bandits had on February 15, 2020 launched attacks on Tsauwa and Dankar villages of Batsari, where they killed 30 people and burnt many children beyond recognition.

While the bandits met stiff resistance in Dankar from the security operatives and residents, they had a field day in Tsauwa where they sacked the village and looted shops, houses and rustled unspecified numbers of cattle.

Similarly, the hoodlums had last March, killed 73 people and rustled hundreds of cattle belonging to residents in Dutsin-Ma, Safana, and Danmusa Local Government Areas of the state.

The multiple attacks, which started at Kuraichi village of Dutsin-Ma Local Government spread to 12 other villages across the three local government areas.

Residents said the miscreants invaded the affected villages on motorcycles, firing gunshots into the air and then started moving from one house to another killing people. Shortly afterward, they rode their motorbikes with abducted people and disappeared into the forest.

One of the residents, Turaki Sedique said: “The bandits killed five persons at Kuraichin Giye, six at Kuraichin Malam. They also killed one person at Dogon Ruwa and seven persons at U/Bera. All these villages are in Dutsin-Ma Local Government.

“While in Danmusa Local Government, they killed 17 at Gurzar Kuka and 13 at Gurzar Gamji. In Safana Local Government, the bandits killed 19 people at Makanwaci village and five were also killed at Daulai village. The total number of dead bodies evacuated in all the villages is 73.”

He explained that the bandits attacked Kuraichi village but were repelled by residents and the vigilante, saying: “some residents went after Fulani houses, burning them and their foodstuff, which resulted to multiple attacks”.

Sedique said: “The bandits mobilised themselves as early as 6am and burnt down Balza, Gurzar Kuka and Gurzar Gamji villages and Makurachi. The bandits numbering about 100 on motorcycles, also injured many people in the villages”.

Three days after the killing of 73 persons in Dutsin-Ma, Safana and Danmusa local governments, the bandits stormed Sabon Layin Galadima in Faskari Local Government Area of the state and killed three persons.

Residents said the bandits in large numbers on motorbikes invaded the village about 4:39 pm and launched the deadly operation for two hours, burnt down houses, and rustled many animals.

Malam Ibrahim Tsauri, who survived the attack said: “They killed a medical worker, Sanusi Bello, at Unguwar Doka; the two others are Safiyanu Abdullahi and Hassan Sani”.