Bandits who have been wreaking havoc in Zamfara State have threatened to burn down three more communities in Gusau Local Government Area of Zamfara State, except the community disbands their vigilante groups.

The bandits contacted a resident of Bakenawa community, whose identity is hidden for his safety, to deliver the threat on Monday.

Bakenawa is a few kilometres away from Ruwan Bore, where the elder sister of Ade Marafa, the senator representing Zamfara Central, was killed on last week.

According to the resident, when the bandits called him, he lied that he was not a resident of Bakenawa, but the bandits gave details of his family members to prove to him that they know him well.

Explaining how the bandits could have got his number, he said they had raided the village a few days ago and stolen properties, including people’s mobile phones.

He said: “When the bandit called, he introduced himself as a ‘stranger’ and I asked if all was well. He then asked of our vigilante group. I told him we do not have a vigilante group, but he said they know that all of us are volunteering to be a part of the vigilante group. He said to me that they would invade and burn down our village and two others, and that nothing would stop them.

“He told me there were 3,000 people in Takoka, 1,000 in Bekenawa and Tundun Wada and that they would kill everybody. He also told me that we are not serious and we are endangering our lives, because the state governor promised us N1 million for anyone who catches a bandit with AK47.”

SaharaReporters contacted the phone number with which the bandits called to confirm the claim. A man, who spoke with Fulani accent, said they threatened to attack the three villages as reprisal.

He said: “We are doing this because the vigilantes are attacking us. We don’t have access to the government that would allow us opportunity to negotiate and the villagers have not agreed to negotiate with us. We don’t want the vigilante group. We live inside the bush, but we want the government to stop the vigilante group, so that we can come into the villages and live normal and do our businesses.

“Tundun Wada, Bakenewa and Mada are our original settlements where we do our businesses and raise our families, but we have been chased into the bush. We are ready to negotiate if the vigilante will stop killing us.”

When asked if they have reported any of the said attacks to the police, he said they did not have faith in the security operatives.

Many people have been killed and thousands displaced due to the banditry going on in Zamfara State.

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