Terrorists fleeing military operations in Zamfara State have invaded Saulawa and Damari communities in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Multiple sources confirmed to Daily Trust that the gunmen on motorcycles suspected to be members of the Ansaru terrorist organisation arrived the two communities in their hundreds and later hoisted flags in Damari and Saulawa villages.
Damari and Saulawa are two among many villages in the Birnin Gwari local government area overrun by terrorists and bandits with no presence of security operatives.
Sources said the two villages had a few years ago reached a pact with bandits to allow them freedom to farm while bandits were given access to markets and other amenities in the communities.
The agreement, however, faltered in February when gunmen invaded several communities including Saulawa and Damari and killed scores of people.
Speaking with Daily Trust, a youth leader from Dogon Dawa town of Birnin Gwari said some residents of Damari had been sneaking out and relocating to Zaria for safety while others had relocated their families while the men remained in the community to farm.
“Over 400 of them arrived on Tuesday, they have overtaken Saulawa and Damari and they have hoisted their flags, they have not attacked anyone but people are scared and they are leaving,” he said.
Also, a fuel vendor at Dogon Dawa confirmed the presence of the strange group in Saulawa village and also confirmed that villagers are sneaking out of the villages to Karau-Karau, Dogon Dawa and Zaria.
“As we speak, the group members who we suspect to be Ansaru members are still in Saulawa village and Damari and reports from those villages is that two flags have been hoisted; one in Damari and the other in Saulawa.”
He said apart from the Damari axis, the old Kuyello in the same LGA had equally become a danger zone as the group had taken advantage of the bad terrain to carry out their nefarious activities, preaching to the locals in an attempt to woo them to their side.
A senior security source in Kaduna told Daily Trust that reports of mass influx of terrorist had reached security operatives and lamented why the military operation in Zamfara State was not simultaneous to include neighbouring states.
“What we expected was that as the operation is taking place in Zamfara, security agencies would been strategically stationed in these frontline states to block the terrorists from fleeing to other states, but sadly the operation as it appears is not simultaneous,” he said.
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan did not answer calls to his phone and is yet to reply messages sent via text and WhatAspp as at the time of filing this report. However, the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, said the command had not received a report on the hoisting of flags in Damari and Saulawa but assured that the Police was strategizing with other sister agencies to tackle the menace of insecurity.