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UPDATED: Worshipers flee as Bandits strike near Zamfara Mosque



Worshipers at a mosque in Gusau, capital of Zamfara state, fled on Tuesday when bandits raided residents nearby.

Daily Trust learnt that the attack was carried out when Muslim faithful were observing the famous congregational prayer, Tahajjud.

Tahajjud is special prayer being observed by Muslims in every last 10 days of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The bandits first broke into a businessman’s house and killed him before abducting his wife and a neighbour.


The man was reportedly shot for refusing to go with the attackers.

According to a neighbour of the deceased, Alhaji Jafar, Nagoma was shot in the stomach and was rushed to the King Fahad Hospital where he died while receiving treatment.

Jafar explained that the bandits invaded the community around 1am and went straight to the residence of Alhaji Nagoma, who was also the manager of Raheem Petroleum and attempted to kidnap him.

“When the bandits realised that the man would not succumb, they shot him in the stomach and abducted his wife. He was left screaming for help. We all heard him calling for help but we cannot do otherwise because the bandits were shooting sporadically.”

“Few minutes later, one of the bandits returned to the house and hit his head with a stick and left him unconscious. The bandits then went with his wife. They also went to the next house and abducted the owner of the house.”


Another resident, Aminu Musa, said at the second house, the bandits also attempted to kidnap a couple, but the husband begged them to spare his wife because of her pregnant condition.

“The woman was pregnant and after the husband begged the bandits, they spared her but went with him.”

He added that at juncture, some members of the vigilante group attempted to foil the operation but the bandits continued shooting indiscriminately, thereby preventing members of the vigilante from approaching them.

“As the bandits continued shootings while moving out of the community, some worshippers observing Tahajjud abandoned the mosque and ran helter-skelter. So, many people thought the mosque that was attack by the bandits. But it in the actual sense, the bandits did not attack the mosque.”

The Commissioner of Police, Zamfara state Command, CP Shehu Muhammad Dalijan, who confirmed killing of the businessman and abduction of two persons, but denied attack on the mosque.


“There is nothing attack on a mosque and abduction of worshippers. What actually happened was that the bandits went to the resident of the businessman trying to abduct him and when he resisted they killed him and abducted his wife and his neighbour.

Zamfara has been under intense attack since bandits began their campaign of violence in the North West State.

Exactly a week ago, Governor Dauda Lawal held talks with President Bola Tinubu over the alarming increase in banditry and related criminal activities in the state.

According to a statement by the spokesperson of the Zamfara governor, Sulaiman Bala Idris, Lawal briefed President Tinubu on the security situation in Zamfara, particularly the resurgence of attacks in some local government areas.

Tinubu and the governor reportedly discussed various strategies and measures to tackle the challenging situation, including enhanced security deployment, intelligence gathering and community engagement programmes.


The meeting also highlighted the need to address the root causes of the problem, such as poverty and unemployment, which have contributed to the rise in criminal activities in the state.

“Today, Governor Dauda Lawal met with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Villa to discuss critical issues concerning the security situation in Zamfara State.”

“During the closed-door meeting, Governor Lawal informed the President that, over the past 13 years, Zamfara State has emerged as the hub of banditry in northwestern Nigeria.

“The Governor appealed to President Tinubu for presidential intervention in providing the military with adequate personnel, weapons, and logistics, as they are insufficient in Zamfara. He also requested sufficient air support to assist ground troops,” the statement read.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated in view of new facts. We apologise for the previous narrative that worshipers were abducted. The error is regretted.


Source link: Daily Trust/

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