Bandits operating in Zamfara State have forced villagers in Tofa community in Magami district of Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State to desert their village.
According to them, they had written severally to the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Internal Affairs, DIG Mamman Tsafe, to deploy security operatives to the area but all to no avail.
Tofa community is about 40 kilometres away from Gusau, the Zamfara State capital, located along Dansadau where banditry activities emanated from over a decade ago.
The community members lamented that they have been facing serious attacks by the suspected bandits, pointing out that this has forced the residents of the community to desert the community to seek refuge in places that are relatively safe in the state.
“We are therefore appealing to both the Federal and Zamfara State Governments to deploy security operatives to the troubled community to enable residents who left their homes to return and carry out their farming activities as the rains are here.”
The villagers also cried out, saying that they were facing hunger and starvation which they said is occasioned by the ransom and levies paid to the bandits to secure the freedom of their kidnapped relatives and to access their farmlands to harvest their crops.
According to the residents, the bandits did not allow the farmers to carry out harvest in some farmlands but they took over those farms upon all the ransom being paid to them.
According to some women from the village, “we are living at Tofa in Magami district and we have been praying for God to see us through but the situation is worsening by the day.
“The bandits have been entering houses to steal our money, they did not allow us to go to our farms and we cannot go fetch water. We have to leave our community to seek refuge in other safer communities but we returned because we do not have food to eat.
“We are hoping on God to bring a person who will proffer solutions to this problem. We are praying to God to help us with security, food and clothing.”
All efforts to get reactions from the state’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs Retired DiG Mamman TSafe to speak on the state government’s plans to address the challenge proved abortive as he was not responding to telephone calls or text message sent to him.