We are trapped between Maiturare village where the main campus of FUDMA is located and the 22km-away Dutsinma town this morning of Thursday 6th August 2020.
When I was driving to the main campus in the morning I noticed unusual movement of people and livestock around the villages that are along the Dutsinma-Turare village portion of the Katsina-Marabar Kankara road. Though business unusual, I did not attach much meaning to it.
I reached my office safely oblivious of the risk. We were working in our respective offices as usual around 10am when we started hearing that bandits had operated last night in many neighbouring villages surrounding the campus. Livestocks were carted away and lives lost. We were also informed that Turare village itself and the other villages surrounding the campus had been informed by the bandits that their own turn would be today in the morning.
On the strength of the information and the usual risks associated with that, the VC directed that we should relocate to the Takeoff campus which is located in Dutsinma town and which is relatively safe.
We quickly deserted the main campus in a convoy of a sort and headed to Dutsinma town. The convoy consisted of many official and personal vehicles. Along the way we discovered that the villages along the road, which had received threats from the bandits and received influx of refugee villagers and large herds of livestocks from the inner villages, had mounted road blocks in protest for being abandoned to the mercy of the criminals. Tyres were burnt and black cloudy smoke could be sighted couple of kilometres away. Our convoy had to park by the protesting villagers who were uttering vituperative words against the govt and provocative statements against us, clearly lumping us up with the govt decision makers.
The risk we faced became double fold. That of the bandits who could strike any minute and that of the enraged villagers who looked at us as part of the govt and thus the cause of their woes.
We had to change our mind and made a u-turn and followed another route radiating from Turare village through Sayaya in Matazu LG, through Kafin Soli in Kankia LG, to Dutsinma. A distance of about 100km.
Unless you heard that the villagers have been passified and have unblocked the road, you should avoid following the road now.
Aliyu Dalha Kankia