Insecurity: Over 620 people displaced by bandits take refuge at football fields in Katsina
Over 620 women and children from Batsari LGA are currently taking refuge at the premises of Arabic Teachers College Kofar Kwaya in Katsina metropolis after escaping several attacks on their communities by bandits.
Malama Habi Abdullahi, a resident of Kandawa village in Batsari Local Government, is one of the refugees at the Government Arabic Teachers College Kofar Kwaya.
Recounting the attack, Habi said: “I heard a loud noise and choose to ignore it at first, assuming it was children playing outside. The noise became louder, followed by gun shots. I quickly grabbed my child and headed outside and then saw people running to safety also.”
Malama Habiba said as she ran with no particular direction in mind, she saw bandits on motorcycles setting houses ablaze and shooting people. Many died while others are still nursing their injuries. “Over 300 motorcycles attacked the village with each carrying more than two persons armed with guns,”she said.
Another refugee, Malama Hafsu Mohammed, a mother of six whose husband was killed last year in a similar attack, said “Three weeks ago, the bandits attacked our village; we all ran away and now sleep in the open and live on the mercies of people who support us with food and clothing.”
For Malama Fati Hassan of Yau-Yau village, the whereabouts of her children, dead or alive, is still unknown. “As I speak, I don’t know the whereabouts of my children. I have four children and I don’t know if they are alive or not. These bandits attacked us for straight seven days. We managed to escape to this place.”
Many communities in both southern and central Katsina have witnessed series of attacks by bandits, who specialise in kidnapping, robbing, maiming, killing and rustling animals.
Villages like Marabar Maigora, Sabon Layin Galadima Faskari Yamma were among the worst hit in Faskari and Sabuwa local government areas respectively, according to a source. Other villages affected include Yandaka, Kandawa, Bakiyawa, Runka, Yau-Yau, Yar-Gamji, Garin Labo, Ruma, Wagini and Ruwan Faru among others.