Over 40 people are abducted in 9 days by bandits who block the Birnin-Gwari road.

Over 40 people are abducted in 9 days by bandits who block the Birnin-Gwari road.

The people of Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna State have raised alarm that for the past 9 days, bandits and other criminal elements have renewed onslaught on the Kaduna- Birnin-Gwari highway where they kidnapped over 44 persons.

They said the ugly situation has forced drivers and commuters plying the highway to change to other routes, for fear of their lives .

The Birnin-Gwari locals who said their joy of having a temporary respite from the gruesome acts of the criminals was shortlived ,said there was a resurgence of kidnap for ransom by the bandits who blocked travelers on the highway over the past 9 days, throwing the people into deep fear and confusion.

A local said “these bandits kidnap people on the Birnin-Gwari- Kaduna road everyday, despite there are security posts between Kaduna and Buruku,Buruku to Udawa and Udawa to Kuriga.”

When asked whether the security operatives manning the posts were withdrawn, the local explained that the security posts were just far from one another, which gave a leeway for the bandits to block sections of the highway and kidnap unsuspecting individuals.

He alleged that apart from the security operatives at the posts along the highway, there was no any deployment of additional troops to the area.

A commercial driver plying the route said about 3 days ago, the bandits blocked the highway and kidnapped about 20 victims, a development that made them to stop travelling on the road .

” We were travelling on that road to Kontagora, but these kidnappers have returned, things have deteriorated. A week ago I was driving along the road but we have to revert because the kidnappers cane out and went away with some people. Allah saved us and we turned back,”he said .

While reacting to the development, Spokesperson of the Kaduna Police Command, ASP Mansur Hassan in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service monitored on Monday, said there was currently an onslaught on the criminal elements in the bushes of Kaduna,Katsina and Niger , adding that often times it was fear thar used to make the people to quote numbers that were not so.

He said the security operatives were not relenting, adding that the Governor had even met with heads of security agencies and deliberated on measures to forestall the resurgence of these criminal acts in the state.

The Birnin-Gwari axis in Kaduna State has for years,  being bedeviled by criminal activities which distorted agriculture and other socio-economic activities in that part of Kaduna State.

Meanwhile, some indigenes of Birnin-Gwari under the aegis of Democratic Movement of the People( DMP) have alleged that  Birnin Gwari had experienced two colonial periods of the Danfodio Jihad of 19th Century and the British Indirect Rule during which Birnin Gwari Native Authority (N.A) Treasury was transferred to the former Provincial capital in 1944, where it remained until 1972.

“It is rather unfortunate that in this period of democracy of the 21st Century a third new form of colonialism and apartheid are being played against the Birnin Gwari Community. You may wish to recall that there was a Local Government Election in Kaduna State in the month of October, 2021. Although the parties that participated in the election did not challenge the result of the election in any tribunal or court of law, the elected officials have not yet been sworn in.”

“The government has been appointing its stooges as Administrator’s so as to facilitate the misuse of our own resources. The worst part of the matter is that the Local Government Secretariat in Birnin Gwari is now deserted, while a parallel Secretariat has been opened in Kaduna. “

“The past and present Administrators along with their Secretaries, Directors and some Treasury Staff have been based in

Kaduna for almost two years now. Local Government’s internal revenue and Monthly Federal Grants, the backbone of Governmental Finances in this country, do not either come to  Birnin Gwari, nor are they utilized for the benefit of the people,” they alleged.

The aggrieved Birnin-Gwari indigenes in a statement by Hon Kabiru  Ashiru, Acting Chairman of the DMP ,Hon Sani Ibrahim Kakangi  Acting Secretary and Hon Abdullahi Muhammad Marafa,stated that no projects are being executed in the area.

According to the group,there was no coordination and support to security operations., no payment of outstanding liabilities incurred by the previous

councils, no attempt to refurbish dilapidated infrastructure and

Nothing  was going on to provide essential services in health, water,

agriculture, education, sanitation etc, to the locals.

“Staff salaries when paid direct to the accounts of the present and absent workers, the balances are not transparently accounted for. The absence of our government prevented proper mobilization,guidance and preparation for the forthcoming census exercise. People’s attempt to render advice was ignored with careless abandon.

“This is an issue that has direct bearing on the Local Government and Kaduna State as a whole. Birnin Gwari is the only Local Government in this state that is being given this bitter pill of denial and deprivation; freedom of choice and benefits from the funds that legally belong to us.”

“This matter is beyond political parties. It is the rights of the whole community that is being deprived and denied out of envy, hatered and despise. In view of the foregoing, it is now apt to call and request our four legislators in the National and State Assemblies to come together, forge a

common front and employ every democratic legal means and options and

secure our rights by way of: Immediate return of the Local Government Secretariat and all officials to its legally established base. Swearing in the elected officials.The two parties (PDP and APC )can sit down and fashion out a proportionate power sharing formula that will cater for all interests.”

“Alternatively, the two sides should be involved in establishing provisional governing arrangement pending the determination of litigation (if any). On the other hand, our call goes to our dear, respectable, Honourable Legislators, to use their exalted positions in the struggle to rehabilitate the following federal and state roads that traverse Birnin Gwari Local Government:. Kaduna – Birnin Gwari – Jeba – Lagos and Funtua – Birnin Gwari – Jeba – Lagos .These were the first major road links between Northern and Southern Nigeria,” they stated.

While also calling for the rehabilitation of some state roads in the area, they explained that Birnin Gwari, from the beginning of the current democratic dispensation requested for the main campus,an arm or branch of the Kaduna State University (KASU).

“We are keenly desirous of that project. We request you to please help us in realising it. More so, the Jibril Maigwari Memorial Hospital, going by it’s position on the confluence of two important and major Federal Roads, serves the health needs of four states and travelers right from Kano to Lagos, needs to be upgraded to a specialist/teaching hospital along with the required staff and equipment,” the statement added .

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