Residents of Shinkafi local government area in Zamfara State have cried out to the government over constant blockade of their roads by terrorists often referred to as bandits .
The two main exit routes from the local government headquarters have been blocked by the terrorist since Tuesday.
These are the Shinkafi – Kaura Namoda – Gusau and the Shinkafi – Isa – Sabon Birni roads.
A traditional ruler in the Sardaunan Shinkafi, Aliyu Sardauna, said the situation has been deteriorating.
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“For days, these people (bandits) have been terrorising people plying the Shinkafi – Kaura Namoda road and other exit routes. Yesterday (Thursday) they stopped 15 vehicles and burnt down one. Three Volkswagen Golf were also attacked and the drivers killed,” Sardauna said.
According to him, terrorists loyal to Bello Turji have vowed not to allow people of the area patronise Shinkafi market.
Shinkafi market is one of the biggest in the north-west of the country.
A resident, Mohammed Humility, said he narrowly escaped on Wednesday when he tried going home from Gusau, the state capital.
“Wallahi it is terrible. I am a witness to the attacks because I escaped by the whiskers in Wednesday as I tried going to my home town. They (bandits) have completely blocked the roads, barricading us from going out or coming into the town. They started from Tuesday, Wednesday and even yesterday,” he said.
A motorist, Adam Barau, said he was forced to abandon his business trip half way due to an attack.
“This morning, I woke up with the intention of going to Gusau but I had to abandon the trip. They closed down the Badarawa Junction to Birnin Yero as well as the Moriki to Boko Junction.
“While we were returning back, I saw more than five vehicles on fire. And Wallahi I saw some people lying helplessly. A civil servant, Engr Silame had the vehicle he was traveling in riddled with bullets by the bandits and if it was not by Gods grace, he would have been dead by now,” he said.
Humility said he counted more than 13 abandoned vehicles on the road from Shinkafi to Kaura Namoda alone.
“I can say at least 20 people have been abducted. Four have been killed on the Shinkafi to Kaura Namoda road while three have been killed on the Shinkafi to Isa road. These are people we know and know their families. This is as of yesterday, Thursday,” he added.
Another indigene of Shinkafi living in Gusau said he had forgotten when last he visited home due to the incessant attacks.
“I can’t recall the last time I went home because of the attacks. My parents are there but they are the ones even asking me not to come. Before when we had network, I would call them every day but now we have all resorted to prayers. But for how long?”
Nasir Shehu, a lawyer, said he had reached Kaura Namoda on Tuesday when he was asked by some ‘good Samaritans” on the road to go back.
“They told me security agents were battling the bandits and I waited for two hours in Kaura Namoda town but I couldn’t continue because I was informed that the bandits were many. I had to return to Gusau,” he said.
The police spokesman in the state did not respond to calls and SMS sent to him.