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Residents panic as Zamfara bandits relocate to Katsina

By Kamar Bello

Hundreds of terrorists led by a notorious bandit, Ɗan-ƙarami, have reportedly relocated from Zamfara State to areas between Safana and Batsari Local Government Areas of Katsina State.

Villagers said the terrorists, who were escaping from military onslaught in Zamfara State, have moved into Tsaskiya, Runka, Gora, Labo, and other communities in the two Local Government Areas.

They added that the terrorists have teamed up with another notorious bandit, Usman Moɗi-Moɗi, who has been terrorising residents of the area.

The residents disclosed that the terrorists, in large numbers and heavily armed, moved to the area with many herds of cattle.

“About a thousand of them who came on about 300 motorcycles spent Saturday night in Labo village,” a reliable source told NAN.

He added that the terrorists were spread in at least five villages on the fringes of Rugu forest between Safana and Batsari as well as part of Zamfara State.

The source however said what was not clear was whether the bandits were on transit or setting up a new base in the area.

The villagers appealed to the military and Katsina State Government to respond promptly and deny the terrorists any space to operate.

Dankarami and his gang were known for raiding villages and towns in Zamfara and attacking security personnel.

A community leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some of the villagers have started relocating to avoid being caught up in the impending disaster.

He urged the military to deploy its land and air assets to decimate the terrorists before they wreak more havoc.

“If nothing is done immediately, these terrorists will pose serious security threat to many surrounding local government areas, including the state capital.

“There are many of them and heavily armed. Government should respond with decisive firepower to save the people,” he added.

Similarly, a resident of Runka said: “From last week, these bandits were seen clearing bushes to make shelters, which means, they want to be here permanently.

“We heard that Dan-Karami came to Usman Modi-Modi some days ago, and Modi-Modi gave him weapons. This means they will work together to continue to perpetrate their criminal activities in those areas.

“Dankarami also came with dangerous weapons; the locals are telling us that they have never seen bandits in large numbers and the type of weapons they have. They are widening their base in the area.”

He also urged government and security agencies to hasten measures to prevent the terrorists from taking over the area.

When contacted, Ibrahim Ahmad-Katsina, Special Adviser on Security to Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, said only the security forces could comment on the matter.

However, the spokesman of the Katsina State Police Command, CSP Gambo Isah, said the police were investigating the veracity of the information.

“There is such rumour of the ongoing onslaught in the military operations and the police in Zamfara forcing some terrorists to relocate to some parts of the state.

“Here in Katsina, the security forces, particularly the army, Nigerian Air Force, and the police have taken note of that and are making an investigation to ascertain its genuineness and take appropriate action,” Isah stated.

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