How influx of displaced persons fuels insecurity in northern Kaduna

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How influx of displaced persons fuels insecurity in northern Kaduna

By Mustapha Adamu Yauri, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

In a rented apartment at Layin Zomo area of Sabon Gari Local Government Area (LGA), Kaduna State Malama Maryam Aminu subs as she packs her belongings.

Aminu and her family members are among those who fled their homes in Giwa, Giwa LGA to Layin Zomo Giwa town due to insecurity, kidnapping in particular.

Having spent some time in her new home, it is now time for the family of three to return to their ancestral home.

Her husband, Malam Mohammadul Aminu, who was a trader in cement and flour, went missing after closing from his business in Giwa on his way back to Layin Zomo in what seems to be a case of kidnap.

Aminu, like most people insecurity prone areas of Giwa and Birnin Gwari, LGAs and some parts of Dandume and Sabuwa Local Gas moved their families to the relatively peaceful areas in Zaria and Sabon Gari LGAs in Kaduna State,

Others found their way to neighbouring Funtua  LGA in Katsina state.

However, preliminary findings from Aminu’s friend, Malam Abdullahi Tanko, revealed that his abductors of did have establish contact with his family months after his abduction.

After months of waiting, the family has decided to return home and face the reality of live without their breadwinner.

This is situation is familiar among many families in the northern part of Kaduna State particularly in Giwa, Sabon-Gari, Zaria, Ikara, Kubau and Lere Local Government Areas.

Alhaji Ahmed Tsoho, Ward Head of Dagarawa, Sabon Gari LGA, said the village was the fastest developing community in the area as such it is witnessing the influx people displaced by insecurity from neighbouring states.

Tsoho also said the migration of these displaced persons into Dogarawa has disturbed the security equilibrium of the community, hence the new security measures from Zazzau Emirate Council to checkmate the menace.

Even land and property matters are not spared warranting the traditional authorities in the area to take measures to address the challenge.

Tsoho said part of the moves to challenge of unchecked migration was the establishment of a three-man committee to regulate the practices of land and property agents in the area as recommended by the emirate council.

He said claimed that the influx of the IDPs has brought with it, increased security challenge in the area which hitherto had been virtually crime free.

Alhaji Ahmed Tsoho, Ward Head of Dogarawa, Sabon Gari Local Government

He said on January 14 kidnappers stormed New Layout in Dogarawa Community and kidnapped Halimatu Bello a housewife and her 17 years son, Yusuf Bello, and shot one person in the house.

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Prior to the kidnap of the housewife and her son, a joint security team had foiled another kidnap attempt of the wife of one resident, Alhaji Danjuma.

Over five weeks after the kidnap of Halimatu and her son, the kidnappers are yet to established contact with the family

He alleged it was possible there were bad eggs among the migrants, stressing that the community is leveraging the community security team to beef up the security in the area.

“Prior to this arrival of internally displaced persons largely from Giwa to our area, Doagrawa was one of the most peaceful areas in the Zaria metropolis,” he said.

Besides the cases of kidnapping, the area also witnessed a surge in criminal activities such as theft, shop bugling, snatching of phones and other valuables in some isolated areas.

As part of the efforts to address the challenges, the community engaged no fewer than 30 security guards.

This, he said, was yielding results as shown in the recent interception of some suspected thieves, including one group disguised which disguised as women.

Similarly, Secretary of the Security Committee of Dogarawa, Malam Sabe Gafai, said the area has witnessed increased cases of shop burglaries and vandalisation of renovated one public primary school.

ASP Mansir Hassan, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kaduna State Police Command, confirmed the abduction of the housewife and her son.

Dr Isa Saidu, a lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Studies Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, said residents of Tudun Jukun in Zaria have been having some unpleasant experiences in recent times.

Saidu, who is also Secretary-General of Gyara Kayanka, a community development and security association, said people were being maimed and killed by hooligans and rascals in the area had increased.

“The activities of these rascals and hooligans have reached an extent that people rushed back to their houses immediately it was 7.00pm.

“We became tired of the situation and told ourselves that we cannot allow this to continue. Thus, formation of the association to address security and other challenges in the area,” ’’, he told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Sa’idu said the association obtained the commitment and cooperation of major stakeholders, including,, academics, clerics, traditional leaders and others.

“These different classes of people made sacrifices and put in their energy to ensure that the community and other parts of Zaria are sanitised’’, he said.

Mustapha Ubaidu

Like Dogarawa, TudunJukun was similarly a host to many displaced people who were forced to flee their homes and communities because of kidnapping and insecurity.

Sa’idu explained that the association profiles the people who migrated to the area from insecurity prone areas.

“If we find out that he was a victim of insecurity we accommodate him and on the contrary we reject such persons“, he said.

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He said the association also works closely with the land and property agents through the District Head of TudunJukun to ascertain the true identity of those buying or renting a property in the area.

Saidu urged the government to provide constitutional roles for traditional rulers to further stem security challenges bedevilling different parts of the country.

“Even in the bush, their Ardo (head of Fulani clans) have their jurisdiction and they impose taxation each cow payable by the owners of the herd.

Besides revenue generation, the Jangali served as a link between the Fulani in the forest and the government. It also enabled the Ardo to know all Fulanis in his jurisdiction and the number of the cattle.”

“The government used this data from the Ardo for planning, vaccination among others. So, you can see check and balances in the former system,’’ he said.

A senior member of Kaduna Vigilance Services (KDVS), who spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons, confirmed that the influx of displaced persons to Giwawas fueling posed a security challenge to the areas.

He said they were able to detect some bad eggs among the migrants

Bawa added that Giwa Division of the local security command had appealed to the state government for logistics supply additional logistics.

He also spoke about other problems, including non-payment of allowances to the vigilante personnel.

“Our personnel were mobilised to go into Giwa and Birnin Gwari forests for a combat with the bandits and even after spending over two months in the bush their allowances were not paid up till now,’’ Bawa alleged.

He called for more commitment from the government in the fight against insecurity.

“We have documents where we hinted on where these bandits are, and they were still allowed to stay and be terrorizing people.

“We regularly receive intelligence on the bandits’ movements from our men and members of hunters’ group and at the end of the day they will succeed in perpetrating their heinous acts“, he queried.

The vigilante member advised government to block Gangagara, Yakawada and Kaya in Kaduna axis and some part of Sabuwa LGA in Katsina State.

He said their investigations showed that they were part of routes used by the bandits as link between Birnin Gwari forest, some parts of Katsina and Zamfara states.

Corroborating this, Alhaji Tukur Ramalan, a resident of Shika, , said the increasing number of displaced persons from the neighbouring states to the Giwa was giving the residents a course for concern.

He said the influx coincided with increase in crimes in Shika community.

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However, a zonal officer of KDVS, who spoke on condition of anonymity safety reasons, said there were more security personnel in Zaria Zone than the combined number of the vigilante recently recruited in Katsina and Zamfara states.

He explained that recently, 1,600 vigilantes in Katsina State recruited personnel while there are 1,400 personnel within Zaria LGA; over 2,000 in Giwa LGA and 2,500 in Birnin Gwari LGA.

He, however, admitted the rising cases of criminal activities in the zone, including kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling, as well as burning of silos, houses, cars, and trucks during attacks.

He attributed these cases to what he termed as “an unchecked movements of IDPs in the area”, adding that it was more prominent in Giwa and Igabi LGAs.

He aligned himself with the position of traditional leader of Dogarawa that unchecked influx of IDPs was jeopardizing security in places like Dogarawa, Nagoyi, Madaci and many suburbs of Zaria metropolis.

Isa Sa’idu, PhD, Department of Political Science and International Studies, ABU, Zaria.

For instance, the commander said, in January and February the command arrested 20 bandits and eliminated many others of charge by the combined team of KDVS and the military.

He said KDVS were also employing informers to track the movement of kidnappers and bandits.

“There is no way a bandit would leave a bush and come into the city without our knowledge; we regularly receive intelligence on their activities.

“We relayed this information to the police and military immediately for prompt action that is why attacks in Zaria reduced significantly.

“We have the records of each camp of kidnappers and the contact of the leaders of each camp, we know their targets, modes of operations, etc. This we achieved through effective use of our informers and intelligence,” he said.

He, therefore, urged communities to be more alert and deploy community policing models to protect themselves from attacks.

He also further urged government to empower traditional rulers for effective policing of domains.

Alhaji Mustapha Ubaidu, MarafanYamman Zazzau, Zazzau Emirate Council, Zaria, said district heads should deploy enhanced mechanisms that strengthen checks and balances among wards and village heads.

According to him, kidnap camps were established within the domains of wards and village heads as such they cannot pretend to be unaware of the existence of such camps.

“It is bad that some of the traditional rulers in the rural areas close their eyes to these atrocities,’’ he alleged.

He, therefore, urged the Emir of Zazzau, Malam Ahmad Bamalli to beam his searchlight on some of his ward and village heads by establishing a reward and sanction committee that would scrutinise them. (NANFeatures)

**If used please credit the writer and News Agency of Nigeria

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