Residents of Shola Quarters in Katsina metropolis on Wednesday August 10, staged a peaceful protest demanding authorities to urgently beef up security in the community over incessant attacks and kidnapping by armed bandits.
The protesters bearing placards with several inscriptions like “no security, no election” called on the government to quickly provide security in the community or the won’t vote in the next election.
It will be recalled that bandits attacked the community last Sunday, killed a vigilante member and abducted a newlywed couple.
Daily Trust also reported that residents of Shola Quarters, Sabon Gida, Makudawa Quarters, and Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH), Katsina Staff Quarters scampered for safety on Tuesday, August 9, as bandits approached the area in broad daylight.
A witness, who claimed to have seen the bandits around 1:30pm, said the criminals were in hot pursuit of some herders when they invaded the Sabon Gida Quarters.
“The herders were grazing around Lambun Malam Mua’zu, suddenly they sighted the bandits and they started running with their animals towards our area (Sabon Gida) and that was when people began to run helter-skelter,” the witness said.
A resident of FTH said many of the residents have moved their families out for fear of bandit attacks, noting that “if the terrorists can come in broad daylight, only God knows what will happen at night.”
When contacted about a rumour making the rounds that people were asked to vacate FTH, the public relations officer of the hospital, Bishir Muhammad, said there was no such directive from the chief medical director (CMD) or any other authority of the hospital.
He, however, admitted that there was panic in the area.
“People are actually afraid; these bandits were truly seen by people; then they began to panic and when people are panicking and they decide to leave, you cannot tell them not to go. But actually, no one asked anybody to vacate,” he said.
The deputy unit commander of Wakilin Yamma 1, a vigilante group in charge of the area, Abdullahi Usman Dan Daura, said though the threat was real, the way people entertained fear in the area had compounded the situation.
“We are working in synergy with all the security agencies and we are doing our best, but the major challenge has to do with informants who give those criminals information about who to abduct and even about the whereabouts of the security agents,” he said.