SWITZERLAND, MAY 12 – Despite repeated assurances of protection from the Federal Government and the Nigerian Army, the heinous attacks of bandits on defenceless communities in the North-West have continued unabated. With the COVID-19 pandemic intensifying across the north, states such as Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state remain under siege from the notorious bandits who continue to kill and destroy with impunity.
The hashtag #PrayForKatsina started trending on Twitter in response to the continued violence in the state, some of which have been reported by the media.
Sources from the area have revealed to Today’s Echo that there have been several attacks on villages in Katsina since the president imposed a lockdown on some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on March 30, 2020. The attacks have reportedly continued even after the lockdown was lifted on May 04.
On Saturday, April 18, the Police announced that gunmen have killed 47 people in attacks on villages in Katsina in the early hours of the day. According to the statement from the Katsina State Police Command, the gunmen, some with AK 47 guns, carried out the attacks in three local government areas.
“There was reports of organised and simultaneous attacks in villages in Danmusa, Dutsenma and Safana by groups of armed bandits,” the statement said.
According to the presidency, President Buhari was “furious” when he learnt about the attack and promised that these attacks “will be met with decisive force.”
Even the president’s threat could not deter the bandits as the media reported another attack in the state two weeks later. On May 02, there were reports that armed bandits have attacked Mabai village in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State killing two persons. Also, the bandits carried out similar night raids on Dan-Nakwabo, Katsalle and Madobi villages also in Kankara Local government area with no reported casualties.
“There is fire in the president’s backyard, who is bold enough to convey the message to him? People are deserting their homes because they’re continually killed, maimed, kidnapped, raped, looted from, houses set on fire by bandits unchallenged,” a man said about the recent events in Katsina.
“Without killing anyone, President Buhari declared python dance in Igboland but his people are been slaughtered by bandits and instead of them to hold Buhari responsible they run to God in prayers, you took one cup of rice and elected God right?” another commentator tweeted on Tuesday morning.
With the entire country fixated on the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, there are concerns that most of the dastardly attacks on innocent communities in Katsina have gone unreported or underreported. On Monday night, the National Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) announced 49 fresh confirmed cases in Katsina state, bringing the state’s total cases to 205; the fourth highest in Nigeria. While the rest of Nigeria battles COVID-19, Katsina will also have to grapple with increase attacks from bandits