‘I hid inside disused tyres and watched gunmen kill my people’
From NOAH EBIJE and ABDULGAFAR ALABELEWE, Kaduna
More facts emerged yesterday on how the bloody attack on Dogon Dawa village near Birnin Gwari town in Kaduna State was executed, leading to the death of no fewer than 25 people. The Chief Imam of Dogon Dawa community, Malam Muhammad said he took cover inside some old tyres that were abandoned near the mosque and watched how the gunmen numbering about a 100, shot and killed early morning worshippers who were coming out of the mosque at dawn.
“The killers were saying they came to make real their threat, they shot and killed even children; it was sad indeed,” he said. Also speaking to newsmen, the traditional title holder of Danlawan Birnin Gwari in Dogon Dawa, Alhaji Abdurauf who could not hide his anger said, a former governorship aspirant, Alhaji Shuaibu Mikati, had earlier alerted the police to the threats to life and property in the area by armed bandits but nothing was done until the dawn attack on Sunday which had turned the entire area into deep sorrow and mourning.
According to him, Mikati had written a letter to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), alerting him to the threat issued by the escaping gunmen who had vowed to unleash terror in the area. He said Mikati had also in the letter, appealed to the police to upgrade the police post at Dogon Dawa to the status of a police station but that was not done.
The traditional ruler also noted that the police gradually withdrew the six policemen stationed at the police post, which eventually led to the closure of the police post. “Sadly, the letter was acknowledged by the police authorities but instead of action to be taken, we only saw the six policemen in Dogon Dawa police post leaving. The authorities were duly informed.
That was three weeks before this attack,” he alleged. He lamented that although the vigilance group in the area had been doing its best, four of their members with link to a nearby Kuyello village were fingered by the gunmen and their associates, who accused them of giving the police sensitive information on the activities of the armed bandits in the area and were slaughtered. “The four were fished out by the gunmen and murdered in cold blood.
The police authorities knew about it. It is sad development,” he alleged. He expressed the hope that perhaps, the latest attack would compel the authorities to deploy police and other security agents to the area. Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa of Kaduna State yesterday visited the community to ensure the criminals were apprehended.
The governor who shelved his plan to travel abroad returned to the village from Abuja told members of the community in trembling voice that, “the state will do all within its power to round up those who carried out the dastardly act.”
According to Yakowa who visited the village in company with the GOC, 1 Mechanised Division, Major General Garba A. Wahab, state Director of SSS, Mr. Yomi Zamba, Commissioner of Police, Olufemi Adenaike, Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission and member representing Birnin Gwari in the state assembly, Aliyu Balarebe Jigo, the perpetrators of the attack would not go unpunished.