A branch of Gobir Hausas group, Gobir Development Association (GDA) Sabon Birni, has written to draw the attention of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Government of Sokoto State, the Council of Sokoto Sultante, over the persistent killing and maiming of their sons and daughters by bandits believed to be Fulani in Sokoto East district. Below is content of the letter:
AN OPEN LETTER TO MR PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
GOBIR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
C/O DISTRIC HEAD’S OFFICE
23RD May, 2020
President Muhammadu Buhari,
The president of the Federal republic of Nigeria,
Aso Rock Villa,
APPEAL FOR URGENT DEPLOYMENT OF SOLDIERS TO TACKLE BANDITS IN SABON BIRNI AND ISA LOCAL GOVENMENTS IN SOKOTO STATE
We the over traumatized and fear stricken people of Sabon Birni and Isa Local Governments in Sokoto East Senatorial District, with a heavy heart, humbly wish to seek your intervention in resolving the intractable banditry situation in our area, that has made living a nightmare and peace elusive for over three years now.
- Since about 2017, when intermittent bandit attacks on our villages bordering Niger republic began to manifest, we have never known peace, we have in fact learned to live with the banditry situation and always sleeping with one eye open. Until very recently, the escalation of the attacks on our people had reached an intolerable level, virtually all villages have been attacked at one time or another, especially since the run up to 2019 General Elections.
- What started off like a child’s play has degenerated into a big monster threatening our very existence as a people, as now, hardly a day passed without a village or two been attacked by bandits believed to be of Fulani stock; whereby our people are being slaughtered like chickens, our able bodied youth beaten up, maimed or both, our women being abducted or raped.
- Your Excellency, Sir, to summarize the situation, from about January 2019 to date, more than fifty (50) communities have been attacked, more than seven thousand heads of cattle (7000), 13,000 sheep and goats, 1,800 houses, sixteen (16) markets have been lost to the bandits. In addition, an estimated 250 person have either been kidnapped or missing or both with more than fifty killed.
- Your Excellency, the bandits are still serially attacking our villagers as we write Kurawa and Garin Faji were attacked only last night, the Kurawa people came out en masse and repelled the attackers, but the other village was mercilessly ransacked and one person abducted as well as broad daylight road block and attacks on villages of Gajit and Dakwaro, a village head killed and many wounded (23/52020). Sometimes the attacks were in broad daylight or an overnight operations. House to house checks were made lasting several hours where raw cash, livestock and motorcycles eventually carted away. They were heavily armed and come in convoys of an average of fifty motorcycles with each carrying at least two of them. They also graze their livestock on our farmlands at gun point.
- Your Excellency, to compound our plight distress calls to the Military and police stationed in both Local Governments were not responded to in good time despite good mobility at their disposal. When they eventually come, it was usually long after the miscreants had left, they were also reluctant to follow the trail of the criminals or effect arrests. Of the few arrests made, usually by the vigilantes, none to the best of our knowledge has ever been brought to book. We believe that the security forces are deliberately aiding and abetting the bandits for reasons best known to them.
- Sir, we have been following similar issues in Katsina State and the recent directive you have issued for flushing of the bandits out of the state. We strongly felt abandoned by not being included as our areas are contiguous and the bandits could easily relocate to our are in the event of military action, thus, exacerbating the already precarious peace situation in the area.
- We as law abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, request that you as a matter of urgency, re-issue that order to include Sabon Birni – Isa- Shinkafi- Gundumi axis along the borders of Niger Republic and to ensure that the troops assigned for the job are accountable for their actions.
- A detailed situation report is attached to this letter for your information, Sir.
- With a heavy heart Sir, we hope and believe that you would use all means necessary to bring lasting peace to our areas. We are largely farmers and rearers and farming season is at doorstep, the continued attacks and fears instilled in the minds of our farmers will definitely deter them from farming with serious implications for food security and wellbeing of not only our people, but the entire Sokoto State.
Your Peace Loving and loyal Citizen;
GOBIR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
The executive Governor, soktoto State,
The President of Senate,
Speaker, House of Representatives,
Inspector general of police
Sultanate Council, Sokoto