Ruthless Violence Strikes as Armed Group Targets Innocent Communities

    Terrorists attacked the Birnin Gwari village in Kaduna State yesterday, murdering an Islamic leader and abducting hundreds of civilians to an unknown location.

    In a statement, the Chairman of the Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressives Union (BEPU), Ishaq Usman Kasai, claimed the event had left the community in a bad mood.

    “We mourn the death of Malam Yakubu Muhammad Bugai, Vice-Chairman of Jama’atul Izalatul Bid’ah Wa Iqamatus-Sunnah (JIBWIS), Birnin-Gwari Branch, and three other farmers who were killed by the murderous armed bandits who have been unleashing terror in the area,” he added.

    “The JIBWIS leader was shot on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at his farm in the Rema area. He was later evaluated and taken to Jibril Mai-Gwari General Hospital with gunshot wounds to his abdomen and arm.”

    “Unfortunately, he died the next day at 7:30 a.m. Mal Yakubu Bugai was a strong pillar, pioneer member, and Vice-Chairman of the Birnin-Gwari children Foundation, an organization committed to caring for thousands of children left behind by largely victims of armed banditry in the insecurity-ravaged area, until his assassination.”

    “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 share boundaries with Kamuku and Kuyambana forests, which are serving as bandit hideouts, a large number of locals were kidnapped at their farms,” said BEPU Chairman. In reality, the problem is so widespread and intricate that it is difficult to determine which cases to record.

    “In those areas, the bandits also herd over people’s farms.” More than ten farms (particularly those with mature corn) had been systematically cleared by bandits’ cattle in Sabon-layi alone. In fact, the bandits urged the farmers not to waste their time coming to cultivate in the region since they will not allow them to harvest and may end up being killed or abducted if they do.”

    He went on to say that “on Friday 21/7/2023, the bandits invaded Ungwar Bawa in Randagi Ward and kidnapped 28 people, including women and children, as well as killing one and shooting four people who are currently receiving medical attention at various health facilities.” However, 13 of the hostages have escaped from their den.”

    “On Tuesday, July 25, 2023, bandits attacked Rafin Zango near Eka Farm and kidnapped two people on their way to Gagumi community from Birnin-Gwari town.” They also stormed Unguwan Roka in Kakangi Ward on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, killing one person and kidnapping nine. The bandits returned to an adjacent town, Unguwan Danfulani, on Thursday night (27/7/2023), killing one person and kidnapping seven from one family.

    “Earlier that day, on Thursday, July 27, 2023, the bandits blocked traders and grain suppliers on their way from the western part to the Birnin-Gwari weekly market.” The bandits held six people hostage for roughly an hour.”

    “We are deeply concerned that farmers continue to be attacked whenever they go to their farms,” Kasai lamented. This poses a severe threat to this year’s targeted farming yields because about 70% of farmlands are still inaccessible.”