People in Birnin-Gwari, which is in Kaduna State, are worried because terrorists and other criminals have been attacking again on the Kaduna-Birnin-Gwari highway, where they have taken over 44 people hostage for the past nine days.
They said that because of the bad situation, drivers and other people who use the highway to get to work have had to switch to other ways out of fear for their lives.
Locals in Birnin-Gwari said that their temporary relief from the cruel acts of criminals was short-lived. They said that kidnappings for ransom by the bandits who blocked travelers on the highway for the past nine days have started up again, making people very afraid and confused.
A local said, “These terrorists kidnap people every day on the Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna road, even though there are security posts between Kaduna and Buruku, Buruku and Udawa, and Udawa and Kuriga.”
When asked if the security guards at the posts had been taken away, a local said that the posts were just far apart, which gave the bandits room to stop parts of the road and kidnap people who didn’t know what was going on.
He said that there were no other troops in the area besides the security guards at the checkpoints along the highway.
A commercial driver who uses the route said that bandits stopped the highway and took about 20 people hostage about three days ago, which made them stop driving on the road.
“We were going to Kontagora on that road, but now that these thieves have come back, things have gotten worse. I was driving along the road a week ago, but we have to go back because the robbers came out and took some people with them. We were saved by God, and we went back,” he said.
In response to this, the Kaduna Police Command’s Spokesperson, ASP Mansur Hassan, said in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service on Monday that criminals are being attacked in the bushes of Kaduna, Katsina, and Niger. He also said that fear often led people to say numbers that were not true.
He said that the security agents were not giving up, and he added that the governor had met with the heads of security agencies to talk about how to stop these crimes from happening again in the state.
Crime has been a problem in the Birnin-Gwari axis of Kaduna State for many years. This has hurt crops and other social and economic activities in that area of Kaduna State.
Some people from Birnin-Gwari who are part of the Democratic Movement of the People (DMP) have said that the area had two colonial periods: the Danfodio Jihad in the 19th century and the British Indirect Rule, during which the Birnin-Gwari Native Authority (N.A.) Treasury was moved to the former provincial capital in 1944 and stayed there until 1972.
It’s a shame that in this democratic time of the 21st century, the Birnin Gwari Community is facing a third new form of colonialism and racism. You might want to remember that in October 2021, there was a local government election in the state of Kaduna. Even though none of the parties that ran for office contested the results of the election in a tribunal or court of law, the chosen officials have not yet taken their oaths of office.
“The government has been putting its stooges in charge of things to make it easier to waste our money. The worst part is that the local government secretariat in Birnin Gwari is now empty, while a similar one has been opened in Kaduna.
“Past and present administrators, along with their secretaries, directors, and some Treasury staff, have been based in
For almost two years, Kaduna “Neither the local government’s own money nor the monthly federal grants, which are the main source of government funding in this country, come to Birnin Gwari, nor are they used to help the people,” they said.
In a statement by Hon. Kabiru Ashiru, Acting Chairman of the DMP, Hon. Sani Ibrahim Kakangi, Acting Secretary, and Hon. Abdullahi Muhammad Marafa, the people of Birnin-Gwari who are upset about this said that no projects are being done in the area.
According to the group, there was no coordination or support for security activities, and none of the debts from the previous government were paid.
No effort was made to fix up old buildings, and nothing was done to provide basic services in health, water, and electricity.
Agriculture, schooling, sanitation, and other things were given to the locals.
“Staff salaries are not clearly accounted for when they are paid directly to the accounts of both present and absent workers. Because our government wasn’t there, it was hard to get people together, give them direction, and get ready for the upcoming census. People’s attempts to help were brushed off without any thought.
“This is a problem that directly affects the local government and the whole state of Kaduna. Birnin Gwari is the only local government in this state that is being denied and deprived of freedom of choice and rewards from funds that legally belong to us.
“Politics has nothing to do with this. Out of jealousy, hatred, and contempt, the rights of the whole society are being taken away and denied. With all of this in mind, it’s time to call and ask our four legislators in the National and State Assemblies to get together, form a united front, and use every democratic legal means and choice available to them.
Get our rights back right away by sending the Local Government Secretariat and all of its employees back to the place where they are supposed to work. Putting the elected leaders into office: The two parties (PDP and APC) can get together and come up with a fair way to share power that works for everyone.
“Alternatively, the two sides should work together to set up a temporary solution for who is in charge until a lawsuit is settled. On the other hand, we ask our dear, respected, and honorable legislators to use their high places to help fix up the following federal and state roads that go through Birnin Gwari Local Government: The routes are Kaduna-Birkin Gwari-Jeba-Lagos and Funtua-Birkin Gwari-Jeba-Lagos. They said, “These were the first major roads that linked northern and southern Nigeria.”
They also asked for some state roads in the area to be fixed up, and they said that Birnin Gwari has wanted the main college to be a branch of the Kaduna State University (KASU) since the beginning of the democratic government.
“We really want that project to happen. We ask that you please help us make it happen. More so, the Jibril Maigwari Memorial Hospital, which is at the intersection of two important and major Federal Roads and serves the health needs of four states and travelers from Kano to Lagos, needs to be upgraded to a specialist/teaching hospital with the necessary staff and equipment,” the statement said.