Abiodun OBA

 

Residents of Birshin Fulani Community in Bauchi State have appealed to relevant authorities to defend and assist them from incessant killings and kidnappings by gunmen.

In a press statement signed by Abdulhamid Jibrin Birshi on behalf of the concerned citizens, the community, noted with dismay that despite the incessant attacks on them, no top government official have found it necessary to visit and commiserate with them.

According to the Concerned Citizens, on September 9, 2021, unknown gunmen struck the Birshin Fulani community, killed a staff of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, and his neighbour who were resisting being kidnapped by the gunmen.

They said that the kidnappers killed an imam and abducted his son and one other individual but released them after a heavy ransom was paid.

The press statement added that few days after the first incident, the gunmen struck again, and shooting sporadically to scare residents and abducted two more people.

They said in another incident, which is the third time the kidnappers stormed the community and kidnapped another individual, adding that the fourth and the latest incident happened on Thursday the 17th of September where they ransacked the community, kidnapped the eight-month pregnant wife of an AIT staff.

The statement further explained that all the attacks were carried out in less than two weeks with a total number of two deaths.

On the latest kidnap incident, the concerned citizens said that the gunmen are demanding 50 million as ransom, adding that “they have only downsized the money to 45 million after repeated pleas from the husband.

According to them, the gunmen had given a 24-hour ultimatum to the husband to give them the said amount or get his wife killed.

They said: “Report reaching us this morning is that our neighbours, Anguwar Kanawa, just a few metres away from us were equally attacked by the same gunmen. It took members of the vigilante several hours before they were able to repel the gunmen.

“These incessant incidences of kidnapping by a gang of 10 AK 47 carrying gunmen seemed to have defied solution,” the press statement noted.

The concerned citizens while expressing dismay over the inability of those at helms of affairs from lowest to the highest position who usually seeks for their votes during campaigns to do the needful said only the Deputy Speaker of the state assembly paid a condolence visit.

“None of our elected officeholders finds it worthy to either sympathize with us or help take concrete measures that will guarantee our safety and security from the killer gunmen who find pleasure in destroying our hard-earned peace.”

The statement said as a result of the incident, several wealthy individuals have started deserting the community and are scampering for safety in different places to evade the kidnappers.

The concerned citizens said many residents now sleep in the bush out of fear of the unknown and due to the absence of concrete measures to repel the gunmen, noted that there has been no support for the community from the government.

“From the member of the State House of Assembly, Danlami Kawule to the House of Reps, Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, to the Senate member, Lawal Yahaya Gumau including the Governor of Bauchi State, we did not seeing any concrete support from you people to help us move out of the current security limbo we are in as a community,” they said.

The concerned citizens also decried the inability of the political office holders to pay either personal or official visits in sympathy and solidarity to the people of the community.

According to them, they are now leaving at the mercy of killer gunmen, which reminded them that they are only relevant when their votes are needed.

“This show of unpatriotism and empathy by these leaders across the cadres mentioned is a further reminder that ‘We are on our own’ when tragedy befalls us. This show of “I don’t care attitude” is highly unfortunate and regrettable,” the further explained.

The concerned citizens who reminded leaders across all the cadres mention earlier that power is transient pointed out that any position they are occupying today have once been occupied by someone, and today history has pushed them aside.

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