Residents of Birshin Fulani community of Bauchi State have accused the state government and other political office holders of neglect as incessant killings and kidnappings become the norm.
The residents in a statement signed by Abdulhamid Jibrin Birshi said the persistent killings and kidnappings in the area is quite worrisome.
“Gentlemen of the press, you may recall that on September 9th 2021, unknown gunmen struck Birshin Fulani community, killed a staff of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi and his neighbour who was resisting being kidnapped by the gunmen.
“The kidnappers, after killing the Imam, abducted his son and one other individual and only release them after a heavy ransom was paid”, the statement read in part.
The statement further said; “In another incident, which is the third, the kidnappers stormed the community and kidnapped another individual; the fourth and the latest incident happened on Thursday the 17th of September where they ransacked the community, kidnapped the wife of an AIT staff whose pregnancy is 8 months old, making it the fourth in less than two weeks.
“In total, the kidnappers have killed two people and abducted four.
“On the latest kidnap incident, the gunmen are demanding 50 million as ransom, they have only downsized the money to 45 million after repeated pleas from the husband”, the statement added.
The statement also berated the state government and other political appointees for failing to help the residents.
“We note with dismay the inability of people in positions of power to do the needful. For instance, from the lowest to the highest political office holders in the land who usually storm our community in search of votes during the campaigns only the Deputy Speaker paid a condolence visit.
“None of our elected officer holders finds it worthy to either sympathize with us or help take concrete measures that will guarantee our safety and security from the killer gunmen who find pleasure in destroying our hard-earned peace.
“From the member of the State House of Assembly, Danlami Kawule to the House of Reps, Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, to the Senate member Lawal Yaya Gumau and down to the Governor of Bauchi State, we did not see any concrete support from you people to help us move out of the current security limbo we are in as a community.
“The inability of these political officers holders to pay either personal or official visits in sympathy and solidarity to the people of this community that is now leaving at the mercy of killer gunmen has reminded us that we are only relevant when our votes are needed.
“This show of unpatriotism and empathy by these leaders across the cadres mentioned is a further reminder that We are on our own when tragedy befalls us.
This show of “I don’t care attitude” is highly unfortunate and regrettable.
“But we want to remind these leaders across all the cadres mention earlier, that power is transient; any position you are occupying today have once been occupied by someone, and today history has pushed them aside”, the statement further said.
Efforts to reach the Governor’s Adviser on security Retired General Marcus Yake proves abortive as calls and text messages put to him on the matter has not been responded to as of press time.
But the police say it was on top of its game. The Divisional Police Officer, Yelwa Division SP Philip Emmanuel told our correspondent that the division had received distress calls from members of the community when the gunmen entered the community.
“I was told about the incident and I immediately sent members of the JTF from the division. They stormed the place, but unfortunately, the kidnappers have left with the woman before our men arrived”, he said.