Nearly a hundred people were kidnapped over the weekend in northwest Nigeria during an attack by as-yet-unidentified gunmen, a civil society leader said today.
“Many of those abducted are women and children, including some babies,” said Zamfara Coalition of Civil Society Groups secretary, Attahiru Muhammed.
The attack took place in several towns in Zamfara state such as Kanwa or Maradun, as well as villages.
According to Muhammed, the aggressors arrived in large numbers in these cities, where they entered houses to kidnap people.
“Many people have abandoned towns and villages. Farmers have also abandoned their plantations,” said the civil society representative.
“Some fled to Gusau (capital of Zamfara state), while others preferred to flee to other states due to lack of security. The situation is very bad right now,” lamented Muhammed.
Nigeria’s central and northwestern states are under relentless attack by “bandits”, a term used locally for criminal gangs who commit mass assaults, robberies and kidnappings in exchange for lucrative ransoms.
Earlier this month, an armed group kidnapped at least 70 people in the towns of Zurmi, Bukkuyum, Bungudu and Maru, also located in Zamfara state.
The violence continues despite Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s repeated promises to end the problem and the deployment of additional security forces to the area.