Gunmen under the control of Turji, a notorious bandit leader in Zamfara, are on rampage, abducting villagers and travellers in Shinkafi Local Government Area of the state.
The attacks, which started on Friday, are in reaction to the arrest of Turji’s father.
According to Daily Trust, about 150 persons have been taken hostage by the group in the last 24 hours.
Security agents reportedly picked up Turji’s father in Kano about two weeks ago and his whereabouts have remained unknown.
Kurya, Keta, Kware, Badarawa, Marisuwa, Maberaya are among the villages that were sacked on Friday.
Aside from sacking the villages, the bandits also reportedly abducted many travellers along Gusau-Sokoto Road.
It was gathered that the bandits’ leader vowed that if his father would be stopped from performing the upcoming Sallah at home, he would also ensure that many other people spend the period without their families.
“He was called on the phone during a meeting between the communities and security agents and he faulted the basis of his father’s arrest, saying he is the one that is the terrorist, with his location known, and saw no reason his father will be arrested,” a source who was at the meeting told Daily Trust.
Another source, who spoke to our reporter, said Turji had sent a warning to “friendly villages” to vacate.
“His men also went into Shinkafi town Friday night where they abducted five women,” the source said.
A resident of Shinkafi, Mohammed Sani, told Daily Trust that a rocket propelled grenade fired during the attack destroyed parts of the emir’s palace.
Zamfara police spokesperson, Mohammad Shehu, did not respond to calls for comments on this story.