Damarin community of Birnin Gwari local government in Kaduna State has been suffering bandits’ attacks for a long time, but some residents of the community said they prefer the presence of the Ansaru armed group, a breakaway faction of Boko Haram insurgents to protect them against incursions.
The residents believe that bandits do not have the effrontery to besiege any community with the presence of Ansaru terrorists. A schism that rocked the Boko Haram group led to the formation of Ansaru in 2012 and it has been predicted that the group has the ability to take over local communities with its “hearts and minds’ campaign.”
Some residents of Damarin told the Voice of America (VOAHausa) that within the week, members of the Ansaru group killed five bandits who normally kidnap and kill locals in the area in their recent clash within the week. But experts have raised concerns that the multidimensional insurgency rocking Nigeria might get worse with the coming of Ansaru. This speculation was rooted in its link to other extremist groups among other things.
Residents who pleaded anonymity for security reasons explained that they were suffering from bandits’ attacks in the area but are being protected by the Ansaru.
“Shortly after our evening prayer, the bandits invaded Damarin but clashed with Ansaru. They killed five of the bandits. It is bandits that normally attack us while Ansaru attacks them wherever they meet.”
Locals lamented that traditional rulers and government have deserted their village. They feel less impact of constituted authorities in the village. Ansaru is their government.
So, there is a need to take urgent measures regarding the acceptance of members of the Ansaru group by the residents of the Damarin to avoid grievous consequences, according to Retired Major Yahaya Shinko, a security expert.
Major Shinko said if the government could not immediately take measures to solve the security problem in the area, the communities will continue to accept and promote the members of Ansaru as being their only source of safety.
Samuel Aruwan, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Security and Internal Affairs said the government is working hard to address the security problem in the entire state.
“Soldiers and police are doing all efforts to address security challenges in the entire state and they will continue this effort until the peace is restored,” he said.