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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Update On Zamfara Killing: Community Accuses Police Of Complicity



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The people of Dansadau in Maru Local Government Area of Zamafara State are accusing the police of complicity in last weekend’s murder of over 100 residents.

They claimed to have obtained incontrovertible evidence that the police allegedly supplied arms and ammunition to the killers.


Senator Saidu Mohammed Dansadau, who spoke on behalf of the community at the National Conference, described what happened on April 5 – massacre of over 100 people, burning of over 300 motorcycles and carting away of about 150 herds of cattle – as systematic genocide against Dansadau.


Dansadau said the people had been living with the agony of unwarranted killings in his community for over three years, adding that the “premeditated” killings took place on a market day.


He noted that it was equally scary that the police who had foreknowledge of the attack did nothing to prevent it.


Dansadau said in July 2012, “the Zamfara State Police Command armourer, along with eight other members of the arms supply ring within the police, were caught supplying arms to bandits and handed over to the police.”


The police, he said, “failed or ignored to prosecute the culprits.”


“The leader of the armed bandits who killed our people on Saturday 5th April, 2014, who threatened to continue to kill people was arrested at the instance of the state governor, A.A. Yari, but was within a few days, released by the police,” Dansadau said.


According to him, for over three years, the Dansadau Emirate and neighbouring communities, whose major means of sustenance is subsistence farming, have lived under the shadow of the menace and naked intimidation by a band of dare-devil and heavily armed gunmen made up of mostly Fulani herdsmen.

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The herdsmen, he said, have terrorised the people at every opportunity, stolen most, if not all, of their cattle and are hell-bent on inflicting mass starvation on people by chasing them away from their farmland.


Dansadau said the invaders who meet regularly under the auspices of cattle rearers union warned residents through the Emir and the police to desist from holding meetings on how to protect their farmland.


He said one of the leaders of the cattle rearers union openly boasted that the union was “responsible for the killing of 19 people in Lingyado on 1st October, 2011; the killing of 23 people in Dangulbi on 10th June, 2011 and 21 people in Kabaro on 30th October, 2012.”


Dansadau said the union threatened that “if the state government does not provide them with sufficient grazing reserve, they will continue to kill people in the area”.


The cattle rearers’ union, he said, told the Zamfara State government to warn the farmers to stay away from the farmland.


He said the April 5 massacre confirmed that the bandits had carried out their threat.


Dansadau said it was important for Nigerians to know that over 70 per cent of those killed in the latest orgy of “unprovoked and mindless killings were innocent and unsuspecting people on a market day of the community and in a pre-meditated plan of the blood thirsty hoodlums”.


He said the assailants divided themselves into two.


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According to him, while one group invaded the meeting venue of the farmers and shot into the participants, another “went to the market and shot at any thing and anybody in sight, killing, maiming and wreaking havoc”.


He said the police in Zamfara, particularly in Dansadau Division, treated the burgeoning genocide with scant attention while “the Emir of Dansadau in whose domain the dastardly event happened has strangely been nonchalant about the plight of the people.”


The people of Dansadau, he said, are convinced that the police and the Emir misled the state government to have wrong impressions about the events in the area.


Dansadau noted that his people do not need any relief materials from the Federal Government. What they want, he said, is for President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, for “negligence of duty”.


The IGP, he said, failed to protect lives and property of Dansadau people.


The people also demanded the immediate sack of Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 10, state commissioner of police and the divisional police officer in charge of Dansadau Emirate for their alleged complicity in the April 5 killings.


The people also demanded compensation for lives and property lost during the mayhem.


Dansadau said his people wanted a security summit for Zamfara State where ordinary people will have the opportunity to convey their grievances to the government.


Dansadau said if their demands were not met, the people would be forced to employ the services of human rights advocates to advance their cause.

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