Bandits yesterday evening invaded Jaya settlements in Boko District, Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, killing many people and abducting several others.
The bandits also invaded Kaduna, Borno and Yobe states, kidnapping 60 travellers on the Sokoto-Gusau highway, a traditional ruler in Kaduna, two soldiers in Maiduguri and some others in Yobe.
In Zamfara, the bandits went berserk in Jaya, a cluster of villages located few kilometers east of Boko community where they gathered in dozens on motorbikes, raided the villages, killed several people and injured dozens of others.
They also carted away cows and other animals, a resident, Ali Aminu, told Daily Trust.
Aminu said, “I saw three injured persons being ferried to a hospital in Boko community. They were shot on arms, legs and thighs.
“Few days ago, the armed men had attempted to attack one community there but were ambushed by vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai, who had got the wind of attack by the armed criminals. The armed bandits retreated after several of them were killed.
“This apparently angered the bandits. They, therefore, reinforced and invaded the communities. Reports say they came on more than 100 motorcycles and when they laid siege, it was drizzling and people were taking shelter inside their houses.
“Several women and children had fled the communities and some of them arrived at Boko community this evening, despite the incessant rainfall.”
In Sokoto, the bandits were said to have operated in broad daylight, blocked the Sokoto-Gusau road and seized about 60 passengers of three buses belonging to the Sokoto State Transport Authority (SSTA).
A motorist, Alhaji Mohammed Yusuf, who narrowly escaped abduction, said the bandits blocked the road near Dogon Karfe at about 3pm and abducted all the passengers in the three buses.
“They (bandits) suddenly came out of their hiding place and started shooting in the air, thereby forcing the vehicles to stop,” Leadership quoted him as saying.
“They abducted all the passengers in the three vehicles belonging to Sokoto State Transport Authority including the drivers.
“Immediately they (bandits) left the place, we all drove our vehicles very fast because we thought that they would come back and pick some of us,” he said.
Yusuf, according to Leadership, called on the authorities to deploy security agents to Sokoto-Gusau road as, according to him, the bandits are abducting people along the road on daily basis.
“The bandits have been abducting people daily on this road. I am appealing to the appropriate authorities to please do something very urgent to arrest the situation.”
The state police command spokesperson, SP Mohammed Shehu claimed that only one bus was seized and that 10 persons were rescued.
An official of the Sokoto Mass Transit confirmed that one of their buses was attacked by the bandits.
The official who spoke under condition of anonymity said the bandits blocked the highway on Sunday morning wielding sophisticated weapons and eventually kidnapping over sixty travellers.
A bus driver and one other passenger escaped the attack but the rest of the passengers were taken away into the bush by the bandits.
Local residents also explained that the bandits blocked Wurno-Goronyo road at about 5pm the same day, killing two people and abducting others.
Confirming the attack on Wurno-Goronyo road, the chairman of Wurno Local Government Area, Abubakar Arzika, said two people, including a lady, were killed by the bandits.
In yet another attack, a first class traditional ruler and paramount ruler of the Jaba people in Southern Kaduna, Kpop Ham, Dr. Danladi Gyet Maude, 85, was abducted in his farm.
Still, a director with Yobe State Liaison Office, Maiduguri branch, Alhaji Ali Shehu, and his close friend, Alhaji Masaha, have been abducted by one of two Boko Haram factions, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) operating along Damaturu-Maiduguri highway.
The terrorists also abducted two soldiers along Maiduguri-Damaturu, sources said.
Sources said the soldiers were abducted on Sunday afternoon. They were abducted along with other commuters on the route.
“We got report that two soldiers were abducted Sunday afternoon along the Maiduguri-Damaturu road. That road has turned into a nightmare to commuters. We urge government to take drastic action to secure lives and properties of citizens who cannot afford air transport out or into Maiduguri,” the source told Leadership.
When contacted, the director, Army public relations, Brig Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu said he will get back when he gets a confirmation.