Maru, the headquarters of Maru Local Government Area in Zamfara State, witnessed a devastating attack by bandits. These assailants, suspected to be heavily armed terrorists, descended upon the town in the early hours of Friday, unleashing a hail of gunfire that left residents in terror.
The invaders arrived in large numbers, and their actions sent shockwaves through the community, leaving the local population gripped with fear. The police authorities in the state have yet to officially confirm the attack, as Zamfara Police Command’s spokesperson, Yazid Abubakar, remained unresponsive to phone inquiries from Channels Television.
However, an anonymous resident of the town, speaking under the guise of security concerns, provided insights to Channels Television. According to this source, the Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji promptly responded to a distress call and engaged the terrorists in a protracted gunfight that raged on for over two hours.
While there is no confirmation of any abductions during the attack, the source confirmed that three individuals lost their lives, including an elderly man identified as Mallam Isah. The source stated, “As of now, we don’t know if they kidnapped anybody but I can confirm to you that three persons have been shot dead.”
Earlier this year, a Divisional Police Officer in the Maru Local Government Area and two other police officers lost their lives while defending against a similar assault on the local government headquarters.
For years, states in the North-Western and Central regions of Nigeria have grappled with the menace of banditry. These criminal gangs, locally referred to as bandits, have been responsible for raiding villages, causing casualties, and kidnapping residents for ransom in areas where state presence is limited.
These gangs have been known for their large-scale abductions, particularly from schools and colleges, raising significant security concerns. Their operational base is hidden within a vast forest spanning Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, and Niger states.
Security forces have faced challenges in quelling the violence in the North-West, and numerous attempts at peace agreements and amnesties with the bandit groups have failed to yield the desired results.
Although the primary motivation of these bandits is financial gain, with no apparent ideological affiliations, the growing associations between them and jihadist groups involved in a 14-year insurgency in Nigeria raise concerns among authorities and security experts.