Kidnapping In Gwana District, A Threat For Internal Security In Alkaleri L G A of Bauchi state

Kidnapping In Gwana District, A threat For Internal Security In Alkaleri L.G.A of Bauchi state

Kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative business in Nigeria, a lot of people including traditional rulers and security personnel engaged in this business because of its monetary reward. Gwana District is not immune from this ugly trend of kidnapping for ransom in Nigeria.

Gwana is located in the southeastern part of Alkaleri LGA of Bauchi state. It is one of the precious Districts in Alkaleri, that is blessed with abundant natural resources (like coal, limestone etcetera) and fertile land for farming.

The large deposits of coal in Gwana attracted miners and mining companies from all part of Nigeria for mining operation. Gwana District is a naturally located around forests and mountainous areas that serve as hideout to bandits.

Different gangs lived in Nahuta Mountain, others live in their respective villages and unleashed terror on their neighboring communities and beyond. Some of the bandits have no peculiar base, they become very daring to the extent of operating in any given opportunity.

Kidnapping is an existential problem in Gwana district, kidnap cases usually occurred without being reported in the mainstream media, even when reported are not adequately captured by the famous media outlets that have wide readers and followers.

Scores of people were kidnapped in various communities in Gwana District, without any effort from the state government to stop it. Among those that were recently abducted are Sani Garba, and Talatu Sambo, all from Diji village; Salisu Inuwa and Jauro from Bura-bayi. Others include, Halilu of Alkalerin-Gwana, Inusa Musa, and mallam from Bonga.

It was estimated that more than 40 people from different communities in Gwana were abducted from 1st December, 2022 to date, without any attempt by the existing security personnel to rescue them except the effort of the armless locals who usually confronted the bandits to rescue their relatives from abductors.

These are just few instances of reported cases of kidnapping in early December. Just like their counterparts in Zamfara, Katsina, and Sokkoto, they kill and rape local women mercilessly without any fear of being arrested by the security agents.

Residents in villages like Diji, Gobirawa, Kargo, Bura-bayi, Wundo, Kwalkwal, Makasa, Garin Liman, Alkalerin Gwana, Rahama, Bogga, Wuro Dole, Gwanan-Dutse, to mention but a few, no longer sleep in their respective houses as kidnappers attack on a daily basis, sometime in broad daylight not necessary in the night. These areas turned to ungoverned territories as armed bandits dictate what to do and what not to do not representative of the state.

Many villages particularly “Rugan Fulani” and hamlets are without a single inhabitant as the residents fled to safe zone due to the incessant criminal activities of the armed bandits. What is happening in Dunya forest in Katsina as well as Sububu and Dangulbi forests in Zamfara like banditry, cattle rustling and mass kidnapping for ransom is equally happening in some part of Yankari forest in Bauchi state. Gwana districts is just a prototype of Dansadau district of Zamfara with regard to arm banditry.

Consequently, kidnapping in Gwana district pose a fundamental problem to socioeconomic development of the region, many businesses have died, as marketers refrained from attending weekly market in those areas because of fear of being kidnap.

The wealthy inhabitants of those communities metamorphosed to have-not losing their movable and immovable properties like farm lands, cattle, houses, cars, food, motorcycles among others in the cause of paying massive ransom to the kidnappers.

The most important economic activity of the people of Gwana was farming, incessant kidnappings compelled farmers to abandon farming thereby increasing hunger and food crisis in the area.

The few farmers that cultivated their farms were afraid to go the farms for harvest as a result of the activities of criminals that are terrorizing villages in Gwana.

This ugly lucrative business forced thousands of residents in Gwana to flee from their homes and businesses leading to emergence of internally displayed persons (IDPs). Futuk, Yalo and Digare were now host communities of IDPs as a result of this terrorist abduction.

These people who were forced to flee from their homes, have no access to international humanitarian relief from relevance actors as the news of their situations was never reported to the best of my knowledge in the mainstream media.

Incessant attacks by bandits subjected the commoners into different form of predicaments like hunger, homeless, insecurity, and cargo of Internally Displaced Persons who fall into a sudden state of physical, emotional, economic and social distress.

With the proliferation of more gangs, violence of activities of kidnappers intensified in Gwana communities. Insecurity is anti-development and human progress; peace is a sin quo non for socioeconomic and political development of all state.

Therefore, without peace, the proposed plan to construct cement plant with a production capacity of 1.5 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA) at Gwana district by the Bauchi State Government and Crexent International Nigeria Limited (CINL) would not be possible.

Also, the resurgence of kidnappings and other criminal activities in Pali district too, especially in villages situated along Alkaleri-Futuk Road is a threat to Kolmani oil exploration in Bauchi and Gombe.

Bauchi state governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammmed is from Alkaleri LGA where this terrorism is rising and even some communities in his home town-Duguri are not immune from the criminal activities of kidnappers. As a son of Alkaleri, what is expected from him is serious intervention not the usual condemnation and sympathy visits.

When he visited Mansur, in July 2022, he promised to tackle bandits who have been terrorizing Gwana District and other part of the state.

But this promise has yet to yield any positive result as the bandits remained the only sovereign actors in Gwana enjoying absolute freedom and carrying out successful operations including willful destruction crops and properties of inestimable value.

Leadership failure is truly among the factors that are responsible for this endless kidnapping in Gwana, some Politicians do not have Nigeria’s interest at heart.

They are only interested in political game of “sow and reap.” They placed much effort in actualizing their self-seeking political ambitions than protection of citizens from internal and external attacks and improvement of people’s wellbeing.

To us, the good people of Gwana, the present administration of Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has failed to a lesser extent, since protection of lives and properties of citizenry is the basic reason for the existence of state and government.

We need peace in Gwana not renovation of traditional rulers palace or construction of PHCs without adequate man power and free drugs. Bala Mohammed administration has performed well in infrastructure, healthcare, and education.

But, for us in Gwana district, we need peace, yes peace, nothing but peace. Without it all developmental projects are useless.

With the distribution of Hilux Patron Vans and motorcycles to the informal security architecture in Gwana for surveillance and internal security, we thought it will be followed with strong and formidable formal security detachments to collaborate with the former in providing internal security in our community.

The fire brigade approach of hiring local vigilante groups to go to the kidnappers’ den for a two days operation will not solve this problem. This problem calls for an inclusive and coordinated efforts as well as unity of purpose in order to effectively tackle the menace.

Bauchi State Government should collaborate with neighboring states like Taraba, Plateau and Gombe in fighting the armed bandits. Security is everybody business, also finding solution to security challenges must be a collective task since security is universal.

Residents of Gwana communities should work together with the formal and informal security architecture in providing relevance information that would help security personnel in discharging their assigned responsibility of protecting peoples lives.

As kidnappers rely on informants to carry operation, reporting any suspicious individuals is recommendable. Lastly, May Almighty Allah protect us and our communities from the evil activities of kidnappers and other terrorists.

Written by Zahradeen Mallam Saleh

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