An Hausa group write to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue of terrorist activies carried out by Bello Turji Gudde boys in eastern part of Sokoto State. As of recent, a bus carrying 42 passengers was set on fire by his gang of terrorists troubling the State. The incident reportedly took place on Monday, December 6, 2021 while the passengers were travelling from Sabon Birni local government area of the state.
AN OPEN LETTER TO YOUR EXCELLENCY, THE PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
We the concerned peace loving GOBIRAWAS WORLDWIDE UNDER THE AEGIS OF GOBIR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, felt scandalized, traumatized and demoralized by the constant butchering of our people without any provocation by the terrorist groups operating in around the axis of three local govenmants in Sokoto Eastern Senatorial Districts and one local Government in Zamfara State, continuous with us, namely, ISA, SABON BIRNI AND GORONYO, as well as SHINKAFI.
2. These communities are daily attacked and terrorists by these bandits, aka TURJI BOYS who operate with brazen impunity killing, maiming, conducting, raping and destroying our people and their means of livelihoods, for no apparent reason. Their impunity has became so callous and brazen to the extent of imposing themselves as rulers and expropriating anything they fancy from the people including but not limited to cash taxes, food supply, drugs and sometimes their maidens.
3. Your Excellency, we have earlier on written a similar complaint after a gory incident at Garki, a village five kilometres from Sabo Birni itself, where, over eighty people were gruesome murdered in cold blood in a single night. The City pictures of these murdered brothers and sisters trended in the internet and our letter was widely circulated( copy attached).
4. At that time we were so awe strike that we hardly had time to bury the dead when the murderous terrorists struck again in another village about ten kilometres from there, namely DAKWARO, followed in quick succession by GAJIT, LAJINGE, TARAH, UNGUWAR LALLE, KURAWA, GANGARA, GARIN IDI and virtually every village around the axis leaving behind in their trail blood, tears smoke, ashes and smouldered farmlands.
5. The terrorists continued their activities after a major military onslaught in Zamfara State, where they relocated en mass in grouos.
6. The response from security agencies, commendable as it is was inadequate as the terrorists always outnumber them, and in more than one occasion the troops were ambushed at UNGUWAR LALLE and in another incident, they run over a military base killing scores of them.
7. Since that incident the military in cooperation with sister security agencies had launched series of successful operations where several terrorists were eliminated and scores dispersed. What is disturbing is that in spite of all these efforts and sacrifices the activities of these murderous gangs became bolder and bolder by the day.
8. Latest in the series of atrocities include:-
I) attack on Gironyo Market in broad daylight where more than fifty were massacred,
ii) similar attacks at Unguwar lalle and Lajinge
iii) serial attacks on Tarah, Kurawa, Kalgo, Gangara and Gatawa and adjoining villages as far as Isa town
iv) attacks on Gatawa and Tarah where twenty one people were abducted and ransom paid in various sums
v) over running Gangara and Jijjira and removing village heads installing one of their own
vi) imposing of taxes on villages ranging from 2 to 6 million Naira
vii) Attacking of Illela where more than forty people perished
viii) the most recent was attack on travellers from Sabon Birni at Gidan Bawa where 37 of the passengers were burnt alive including the vehicles conveying them. This sordid and heart breaking incident happened at the wee hours of Monday, 6th December, 2021. Up to the time of writing this, we are still searching.
ix) as if the provocation isn’t enough, they followed it up with abduction of passengers and others along the Shinkafi Isa road within hours.
9. Your Excellency, Sir, while recognizing the deadly nature of asymmetric warfare and the insufficient boots to comb all nooks and crannies of the affected areas, we also recognize the efforts made and is still being made, we wish to state clearly that this is an economic and social warfare being waged on our people to systematically destroy our economic base and reduce our numerical strength. As evidenced by:-
a) rustling of all livestock in the area
b) looting of all shops and sacking of major rural markets
d) sabotaging ging our farming activities through wilful grazing on crops, deliberate setting farms to fire, denial of passage to farms, occupation of our critical farming assets, blockage of harvests, imposition of arbitrary taxes beyond the ability of the people to pay and timing the payments when they had already stolen all economic assets, including food and livestock and cash, abducting able bodied men and youth and collecting ransom from relatives who sell of their assets in the process…
10. This terrorism persisted because:-
1) a large number of local informants, who were either forcefully inducted or out of fear or out of dire economic necessity
2. Forceful conscription of people into terrorist activities.
3. A large swaths of of ungoverned space
5. Poor accessibility of the areas and wide distance between them.
6. Inadequate boots on the ground.
7. Closure of telecom network, though desirable, it created unintended consequences which tend to work against people.
8. Poverty etc.
9. Your Excelency as responsible, law abiding and progressive citizens, we refrained ourselves from taking laws into our hands and report to constituted authorities, the response is in most cases, belated because the authorities were in themselves overwhelmed by the magnitude of criminality they had to contend with.
10. We believe that we had suffered enough and are praying your Excellency to consider the serious implications of these terrorist acts which are already threatening the corporate existence of the country and might spiral out of control if urgent actions against them are not taken.
11. We shall be grateful if you could order immediate deployment of security personnel and hardware against these terrorists and end their reign of impunity once and for all so that our markets, schools, hospitals, farms , highways and social life could once back to life and we continue contributing our quota to the socioeconomic development of our areas and country in general.
12. On our part, we promised to accord the security agencies all necessary assistance in discharging their patriotic duties.
We remain your patriotic and peace loving citizen.
GOBIR DEVELOMENT ASSOCIATION