Insecurity along Kaduna -Birnin Gwari highway worrisome

Photo: soldiers deployed along the highway

The horrifying stories emanating from Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna state are very disturbing. Almost daily, we hear reports of individuals being killed or abducted on their farms.

Furthermore, others face the same fate while traveling on the road, whether it be from Kaduna to Birnin Gwari or from Birnin Gwari to Kaduna town.

These distressing stories are frequently covered by the media. At present, the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari highway has become a dead zone, largely due to the activities of bandits who have virtually taken control of the road.

Many of the larger villages such as Buruku, Kurega, Udawa, and Manini, situated along the highway, have been nearly deserted. The bandits have displaced the smaller villages and settlements, leaving behind only empty mud houses and farmlands.

Last week, a resident of Birnin Gwari’s Randagi village visited me to provide updates on the situation in their villages as well as the local government area. He expressed that whenever they leave their homes with the intention of traveling to Kaduna, it feels as if they are saying goodbye to their loved ones.

“You have to say goodbye because you are not sure if you will return or not. The chances of safely returning home from the journey are only around 20 percent,” he shared.

According to him, numerous people have lost their lives while traveling between Birnin Gwari and Kaduna.

“This has been our reality for many years. The situation has worsened now, as we can hardly travel without an escort. Despite that, the bandits still manage to strike,” he added.

Recently, distressing information emerged that the bandits have surrounded the main town of Birnin Gwari. Isolated kidnappings are now occurring within the town, something unprecedented in the past. In response, the local government authority has implemented a temporary curfew to address the situation.

The residents I spoke with regarding this latest development expressed concerns that if urgent action is not taken, the bandits may invade the town.

These remarks from the people reminded me of my last trip to Birnin Gwari in December 2022 when I joined the campaign train of APC Presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu. During that visit, I witnessed numerous abandoned villages and settlements along the highway.

The memory of heavily armed soldiers lining the road resurfaced. Some soldiers were stationed on rocks, while others hid in the bushes. I observed some soldiers remaining vigilant behind trees as the convoy passed through.

Recalling the security measures taken during Tinubu’s visit, I couldn’t help but wonder why the authorities couldn’t sustain such measures on the highway to safeguard the lives of thousands of people who traverse the road.

I also recollected how the Amir of Birnin Gwari had implored Bola Tinubu to help rescue the town from the clutches of bandits and terrorists during the campaign visit.

Tinubu, if elected president, vowed to eradicate the terrorists and bandits who terrorize the people. His visit to the town was motivated by his desire to witness the situation firsthand.

Now that Tinubu has achieved his goal of becoming the President of the country with the massive support of the people of Birnin Gwari, it is time for him to fulfill his promise.

It is imperative that President Tinubu addresses the insecurity in Birnin Gwari and eradicates the bandits and terrorists who continue to kill and abduct travelers along the Kaduna-Birnin Gwari highway.


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