Terrorists now target men in new killing spree

Suleiman Gumi, Member of the House of Representatives, representing Gummi/Bukkuyum Federal Constituency Zamfara State, revealed that the bandits who carried out the recent Bukkuyum massacre targeted the men in the overrun villages.

Mr Gumi alleged that the terrorists were specific in selecting their victims by verifying their gender before killing them.

The legislator revealed this on Monday during an interview with journalists at the National Assembly in Abuja.

Persistent crisis

Over the past two years, the northwest and parts of the north-central regions have been terrorized by bandits who engage in killings, kidnappings and other nefarious activities.

After months of dragging its feet, the federal government last week declared the bandits terrorists.

Two days later, the terrorists attacked Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas of Zamfara State, leaving more than 200 dead.

The government, at the federal and state levels, has taken a series of strict measures, including shutting down telecommunications and restricting sales of petroleum products, to end security concerns in troubled areas.

Despite these measures, the attacks continued unabated.

Governor Bello Matawall of Zamfara State revealed on Monday that the activities of informants make him difficult for the government to put an end to terrorism and other crimes in the region.

PREMIUM TIMES also reported how the terrorists wrote nine communities in the Bukkuyum local government area to pay taxes or risk attacks.

Men as targets

Mr Gumi said the targeting of the men could be linked to the government’s decision to label the bandits as terrorists.

He therefore called on the military to study the change in tactics and react accordingly.

“The bandits were looking for all male children to kill, no matter how small. They will open and see if it is a girl they will leave but if it is a boy they will take him out and kill him.

“And they were mostly looking for men, and then the women ran away. So this change in tactics tells us that something has changed too.

“I don’t know if it has to do with declaring them a terrorist, but maybe it’s because if you declare someone a terrorist, that means strategy, your own rule of engagement changes and that means they have to change their own rules of engagement.

“Maybe it has to do with them being declared terrorists. If that solves the problem, I agree 100%. But it’s already done so now we have to expect that ‘they increase their action, then it will gradually decrease.

The legislator also congratulated Mr. Matawall for reaching out to the Republic of Niger. He said such a move is another strategy to reduce the supply of arms and ammunition.

“If we can get the Republic of Niger to block all access to all entry points, then what the bandits have will definitely depreciate, and naturally, the cessation of fighting will also cease.

“It’s an angle, and another angle uses the same strategy.

“The army is overstretched. The police can’t be everywhere and if we can get the vigilantes to guard the villages that are on the outskirts of local governments and big cities, then we would have a really good security arm. for people who are not covered by security guards.

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