By; PETER NOSAKHARE, Kaduna
Residents of three communities along the Abuja-Kaduna highway, Katari, Akilbu and Rijana on Friday, rejected in strong terms the proposed plan to relocate them by the Kaduna State Government on the allegations of harbouring and aiding terrorists with intelligence on the state’s moves to contain their activities along the highway.
At a press conference held at the NUJ Secretariat Kaduna, spokesperson for the three communities, Dajuma Makeri, said there was no truth in Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s allegations calling it ploy by some powers that be to takeover their communities for their selfish purposes.
“Our people are peace loving, God fearing and law abiding and as such cannot parley with bandits or terrorists.
“We are under constant attacks from these hoodlums, so, the wholesale assumption that bandits get their information only from natives before launching their deadly attacks on the Abuja – Kaduna highway is largely unfounded and trivial.”
According to him, “are the bandits themselves not aware that there is a popular highway linking some states of the North-West to the Federal Capital?”
He added, that the bandits are also conversant with the flash spots on the highway that are convenient for their operations
Makeri, observed that these bandits can get information from their kidnapped victims which are under duress.
“It may interest you all to know that the present village Head of Rijana (Mr. Ayuba Dodo Dakolo) and about 24 members of his community are in the hands of bandits.
Similarly, twelve (12) members of the Katari Community including women and children are also in the hands of bandits.
“In April this year (2022), a former secretary to the defunct Akilbu District, Mr. James Abu was gruesomely murdered by bandits on his farm. In the same vein, Martina John was kidnapped from Katari village, gruesomely murdered and her body dumped near Sabon Gayan in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State. Cases of such cold blooded murders of indigenes abound in our respective communities (all perpetrated by bandits), he explained.”
Spokesperson for these communities, wants government to please give listening ears to the indigenes of the communities and to also put workable security presence in the areas.
He stressed that, “in 2019, there was a stage-managed incident in which some security operatives from the Nigerian Air Force faked the bursting of a kidnapping gang purportedly hibernating in the Katari community.
In the said fabricated incident, some of our unsuspecting youth were gathered at the GSS Katari play ground by the Air Force operatives under the pretence of staging a mock simulation exercise.
“Curiously, these young innocent boys were made to raise their hands up in the air purporting to be under arrest. They were eventually lifted in two waiting helicopters and brought back after a few minutes flight around the community. For obliging their requests, the Air Force operatives gave all the youth that participated one thousand Naira (N1000) each with the promise that they would be considered for recruitment into the Air Force during the upcoming recruitment exercise.”
He also urged government to discreetly verify and cross check all security reports relating to these communities to ensure that they are not products of mere guess work or figments of some people’s subjective imagination concocted to please some vested interests.