Following the plans to demolish and relocate the villages of Rijana, Katari, and Akilbu by the Kaduna state government, due to the increase in killings and mass abductions of Nigerians plying the Abuja-Kaduna expressway by terrorist groups of armed bandits
The communities have kicked against the government’s proposals to demolish and relocate the villages while debunking the government’s claims that Katari, Rijana, and Akilbu villages were involved in supplying information to the terrorist groups of armed bandits.
Mr. Danjuma Makeri Muhammed, the chairman of the community who addressed journalists in Kaduna on Friday, May 27, 2022, pleaded with the government to suspend its plan decision while lamenting how the media and security operatives consistently give negative remarks on their community.
Mr. Makeri claimed that the residents of Katari, Rijana, and Akilbu communities are peace-loving people that never engage in tribal or religious crises, and talk more about engaging terrorists, or feed them information.
Considering the number of vulnerable and displaced people with accounts of huge losses in lives and properties, we are the most affected victims of banditry in Kaduna state. Our people have been denied access to their farms. Many communities pay taxes and levy terrorist groups to survive while we sleep with one eye for fear of being attacked daily. He continued
However, the chairman of the communities also criticized the government for chasing shadows instead of elements, claiming that the government is aware of the terrorist locations through several reports from both local and government security agencies.
Places like Birin Gwari, Kachia, and Maraban Jos have experienced greater insecurity than our communities because the government has admitted in several reports that Boko-Haram and Ansaru terrorists have bases and camps in the Birinin Gwari axis.
These are environments tagged as “bandits’ remote areas,” where terrorist groups of armed bandits carry out their atrocities and mass abductions freely and daily.
But surprisingly, only our community that bandits pass through to carry out attacks was mentioned as a terrorist den. We are not aware of any.
Although several attacks on Kachia and Chikun local government were reported at the Rijana police division, so, therefore, many mistook communities like Audu Jangwam and Karamami village for either Rijana, Katari, or Akilbu.
For the recent attacks on the AK49 Abuja-Kaduna train that happened between Audu-Jangwam and Dutse, but many national and international newspapers, online, and broadcast reported that the incident happened between Katari and Rijana.
So this is how media hype is fighting the good people of our accused communities. He added
Reports indicate that the village head is still captive, per the community group.
Kaduna state governments have yet to publicly announce their decisions on relocating the communities since the governor’s last comment on the need for the state security council to deliberate on the possible actions to be taken, a situation that has geared the fear in many with contemplating hope.
Malam Bara’u, a resident of Audu Jangwam, told Daily Episode that clearing communities like Rijana, Katari, and Akilbu will expose more people to danger.
Many communities depend on the security outpost located in Rijana, while the houses and locals are seen as a threat to the bandits despite the increased attacks.
The only solutions to the crime are government decisions to clear terrorist hideouts, not peaceful and vulnerable communities. He pleaded.