The Gusau-Sokoto highway was blocked on Friday by hundreds of protesting residents demanding the deployment of troops in their communities due to renewed bandit attacks.
Protesters from Bingi and other surrounding villages in Maru Local Government Area in Zamfara State had cut branches from trees and blocked the road, forcing some travellers to make u-turns.
A group of protesters including women and children said they fled their communities after armed criminals attacked them in the absence of security operatives.
“Since the dismantling of the security formation, there has been an increase in attacks by suspected bandits on our communities.”.
After the brutal attacks by the armed men, over a dozen communities have been looted.
“We will not return to our communities until security operatives are deployed again.
“Have they forgotten that we live in troubled parts of the state?” Mass abductions and killings are occurring almost every day.”
“The authorities should not only redeploy security personnel to our communities but also increase their numbers.
“Armed men are riding into our communities in large numbers. Therefore, there must be a proportionate number of operatives to counter them,” Ali Hussaini, a resident, said.
At the time of filing this report, the spokesman of the state police command, SP Muhammad Shehu, could not be reached for comment.