The Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressives Union (BEPU) said armed bandits killed the Vice Chairman of the town’s branch of an Islamic sect, Jama’atul Izalatul Bid’ah Wa Iqamatus-Sunnah (JIBWIS), Yakubu Muhammad, and three other farmers in the areas.
The chairperson of the BEPU, Ishaq Usman, in a statement on Saturday, said the JIBWIS vice chairperson was shot on Wednesday while working on his farm.
After the shooting, he was rushed to Jibril Mai-Gwari General Hospital, in the Birnin Gwari town, where he was certified dead the day after, Mr Usman said.
“Until his murder, Mr Muhammed was a strong pillar, pioneer member, and also the Vice-Chairman of the Birnin-Gwari Orphans Foundation, an organisation devoted to taking care of thousands of orphans whose parents were killed by the armed banditry in the security-ravaged areas,” the statement said.
Residents said gunmen have intensified attacks on vulnerable farming communities.
He gave some of the most recent attacks as follows:
“In another sad development, around Sabon-Layi, Kurgi, Yelwa, Tashan-Keji, Shiwaka, Unguwan Danfulani and many more rural Communities in the Western part of Birnin-Gwari who are sharing boundaries with Kamuku and Kuyambana Forests – hideouts of the Bandits.
“A large number of locals were kidnapped at their farms. The situation is so rampant and complex and confusing for someone to report.
“The bandits also herd over people’s farms in those areas where in the Sabon-layi community alone, more than 10 farms (especially those with grown-up maize) have been cleared deliberately by the bandits’ cattle.
“The Bandits told the farmers to stop wasting their time going to farm in the area because even if they do, they will not allow them to harvest and may end up being killed or abducted, the community leader said.
Mr Usman said the gunmen are also taking hostage locals, unchallenged, killing and kidnapping women and children.
“On 21 July, the bandits invaded Unguwan Bawa in Randagi Ward and kidnapped 28 persons, including women and children, and also killed one and shot four who are currently receiving medical attention at various health facilities. However, 13 out of the captives have managed to escape from the kidnappers’ den.
“On 25 July, the bandits attacked Rafin Zango, around Eka Farm, and kidnapped two persons who were on their way coming back from Birnin-Gwari town heading to Gagumi Community.
” On 26 July, they (terrorists) invaded Unguwan Roka of Kakangi Ward, killed one person, and kidnapped nine others.
“On 26 July, four locals were kidnapped at their farms in Yelwa Community in the Sabon-Layi axis.
“On 27 July, the bandits came back to a nearby Community, Unguwan Danfulani, killed one person and kidnapped seven others from one family. Earlier on the same date, the bandits blocked traders and grain suppliers who were on their way from the Western part to the Birnin-Gwari weekly Market. The bandits operated for about an hour and kidnapped six persons,” Mr Usman said.
The police spokesperson in Kaduna, Muhammad Jalige, could not be immediately reached to comment on the development as calls to his phone number failed to connect.
Appeal to government, police
The community appealed to security agencies to intensify their efforts ior
“The BEPU are deeply concerned that farmers continue to be attacked whenever they go to their farms. This poses a danger to this year’s targeted farming outputs, as about 70 per cent of farmlands are yet to be accessible.
“The kidnapping and killings of locals at farms have become rampant in the entire Birnin-Gwari general area. Even today (Saturday), the bandits abducted two farmers at the Maraban Agyaro area of the Gagumi axis.
“BEPU is deeply concerned that the killings and abductions of farmers in the Birnin-Gwari general area have continued to escalate daily, unchallenged and unreported.
“Given the situation, BEPU appreciates the determination of the new administration and the effort of the security agencies toward addressing the problem.
“The union, however, appeal to the federal government to facilitate the establishment of military detachments in Katakaki, Gagumi, Tashar-Keji, and Bugai axis of the Western part of Birnin-Gwari, which the Bandits Warlords are now using as their operational basis and continuously terrorising the Birnin-Gwari general area.
“Equally important, there is a need for restoration of the Mobile Police Unit in Damari Community of the eastern part of the Local Government, which bandits are using as a route in attacking many Communities in the area.
“The victims of armed banditry continue to die due to poor medical attention as a result of inadequate staffing and equipment in the Jibril Mai-Gwari General Hospital. (There is) only one medical doctor in the entire hospital.
“This is by far not proportionate to the population. On this note, BEPU appeals to the Kaduna State Government to post more health personnel or recruit indigenous medical doctors who would manage the hospital as victims of armed banditry continue to die due to insufficient primary medical attention,” Mr Usman said.
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