By Adeleye Kunle
Mr.Ishaq Kasai, Chairman of the Birni Gwari Emirate Progressive Union (BEPU), has painted a graphic picture of how bandits and terrorists now run the socio-economic affairs of dozens of villages and communities in Kaduna State’s Birnin Gwari Local Government Area after ousting government officials.
Kasai told TrackNews in Kaduna that the combined population of the affected villages and communities exceeds 50,000 people.
“The vast majority of our people are farmers.” Banditry has rendered approximately 70% of farmlands inaccessible. The farmlands that are accessible are those near the main towns, and even then, farmers must pay the bandits millions of naira before they are allowed access to some of the farmlands,” says the BEPU chairman.
Schools and hospitals have been closed, as have banks and other economic activities.
The bandits started it all three decades ago, stealing, maiming, and killing until members of the Ansaru group, an offshoot of Boko Haram, appeared on the scene ostensibly as bandit liberators.
‘Because people are concerned about the issue of these bandits who have been bothering them for years, the Ansaru has offered to assist them,’ he says.
“People had been pleading with the government to assist them, but they had been rendered helpless.” As a result, when the Ansaru arrived, the people saw them as an organization attempting to protect them from bandit attacks. Even now, the Ansaru group is marrying within the communities.
“As a result, people began to accept the Ansaru terrorists’ organization.”
“These terrorists and bandits are becoming more sophisticated by the day, as opposed to the local vigilante, who has to go to the farm before acquiring a dane gun.” However, these terrorists can carry out a single attack, collect up to N50 million, and use the entire sum to purchase sophisticated weapons. That is why, without the support of the government, no local can stand up to him.”
The Ansaru group has also taken on the responsibility of levying taxes and even deciding on issues.
Page 23 contains a detailed interview.
Kasai’s views appear to back up the SOS letter that Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai recently sent to President Muhammadu Buhari about the state’s security situation, according to the online publication, Track News.
According to El-letter Rufai’s to the President, “the insurgents enacted a law in the District, prohibiting all forms of political activity or campaigning ahead of the 2023 elections, particularly in Madobiya and Kazage villages.”
“According to actionable intelligence, members of the Jama’atu Ansarul Musulmina Fi’biladis Sudan (aka Ansaru) hibernating in the Kuyello district of Birnin Gwari LGA recently married two unidentified female residents of Kuyello village.”
“The ceremony was attended by various Ansaru members and witnessed by local residents.” Following the wedding, insurgents in attendance allegedly transported the brides to the dreaded Kuduru forest in the same District.”
According to him, the terrorists “fined one Mu’azu Ibrahim, a resident of Kuyello community, one million Naira for selling plots of land without the consent of the owners.”
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