No fewer than 20 villagers have been abducted by bandits in Wurno local government area of Sokoto State, residents have said.
The bandits carried out simultaneous attacks on Sunday night in Kwasare and Chacho villages, the residents reported.
Wurno is one of the local government areas in Sokoto East where the activities of bandits have been on the rise. The area has witnessed kidnapping, killing and burning of houses and shops.
The bandits recently burnt down a bus and several travellers during an attack.
Sirajo Saidu, a native of the area, said five of his ‘blood brothers’ were abducted by the bandits in the latest incidents.
“All the five men taken in our house are my brothers. The bandits didn’t kill anyone in our community but they took many people in that operation alone. We are waiting for them (bandits) to call for the ransom. Please include my brothers and other victims in your prayers,” he said.
Basharu Guyawa, the coordinator of rights group, Rundunar Adalci, said while the attack on Kwasare was ongoing, “another set of bandits were attacking Chacho”.
“We are under bandits’ siege. Yes, they (bandits) always attack us at will. In the Chacho attack, I was told by locals that many people were abducted, countless of domestic animals taken. They even took away motorcycles belonging to residents,” Mr Guyawa told Premium Times.
Due to the precarious security situation in the area, Premium Times is yet to verify the numbers of those reportedly abducted.
‘They abducted more than 20’
But a journalist based in Sokoto, Yusuf Gidan Dare, said those kidnapped in the areas “were more than 20”.
He said 31 people were abducted between Saturday and Sunday nights in four villages in Wurno local government area.
Mr Gidan Dare is from Wurno but lives in Sokoto metropolis.
“In one week alone, over 40 people have been kidnapped by these bandits and none of them has been released. This is just in my local government area (Wurno). This is becoming too much because it is spreading like a wild fire and I am sure you know if these bandits can attack these communities that are not far from the city centre, tell me who can save Sokoto metropolis?
“In Kwasare attack, 12 people were abducted, eight in Barayar Zaki, four in Achida, three in Chacho and four in some hamlets,” he said when asked about the Sunday attack.
The police spokesperson in Sokoto, Sanusi Abubakar, did not respond to calls and an SMS sent to him seeking information.
Nigeria is experiencing one of its worst phases of insecurity since the advent of democratic rule.
Many parts of the country are reeling under the activities of criminal gangs who attack, kill, maim and abduct at will.