Godwin Isenyo and Enyioha Opara
Senator Shehu Sani, on Sunday disclosed that no fewer than 21 villagers were reported to have been killed in Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State.
He said the villagers were killed between Thursday and Friday last week.
Sani made this known to our correspondent in Minna, the Niger State capital on his way back to Kaduna after rounding off his campaign for reelection in the area.
He said the situation in Birnin Gwari and parts of Niger and Zamfara states “is worrisome and pathetic as people are being massacred in cold blood daily.”
He also said there had been no report from either the police or the Army to confirm the recent killings. Our correspondent could not independently confirm the claim of the senator.
“There was a pathetic incident when mourners who went to bury their loved ones were attacked by the bandits at the gravesite with some of them (mourners) abducted and taken to unknown destinations.
“They had to run and leave the remains; those who could escape escaped,” Sani narrated.
“On several occasions, I had to pay ransom to secure the release of some of my coordinators who were kidnapped; it’s unfortunate,” he added.
Sani expressed sadness that he could not access Birnin Gwari through Kaduna axis and had to take the longer route of going through Suleja to Minna to Kagara before reaching the town.
He said that people had deserted the affected areas and wondered whether elections would hold in some parts of Birnin Gwari and some areas in Zamfara State.
“Many people have left the villages. They sold their houses and farmlands and are now staying in places where they think are safe; definitely this will affect the election. How can people vote where they are not registered? How can they come out and vote when there is no security?” he queried
However, the Kaduna State Police Command on Sunday refuted claim that no fewer than 21 villagers were killed within two days in Birnin-Gwari area of the state.
The police spokesman in the state, DSP Yakubu Sabo, told one of our correspondents on the telephone that the claim by Sani was untrue.
The police chief said there was no way such incident would occur in the area without the knowledge of the force.
“Its not true. Between the periods, we(command) do not have such crime incidents,” he said.