Residents of Kakau Daji of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State where six female students and two teachers of Engravers College were abducted by gunmen are having uncomfortable times over state of insecurity in the community.
Gunmen stormed the college a week ago and took the girls to an undisclosed location. The girls were between the ages of 16-18 and their abductors are demanding ransom as negotiations for their release.
Our reporter who visited the community reports that most of the residents in the small village were reluctant to speak with journalists on the security situation in the area as they expressed concern over their safety.
It was observed that the people who depend mainly on farming as a source of livelihood are scared of going to their farms due to security concerns. A resident who identified himself as Habi said the people of the community were worried over the rising insecurity.
According to him, the villagers stopped rearing animals in their homes to avoid being attacked by rustlers and gunmen. He said even if they harvest crops they are still not comfortable keeping it in their homes.
“Even before the school incident, we were concerned about insecurity, but with the recent abduction at Engravers College, we are seriously worried. Although, since the abduction, security agents are patrolling the area.
“The issue of farming remains a thing of concern to us because we are farmers, but are afraid to go to farms, especially those whose farms are deep in the forest. Last year, we didn’t farm as we used to do. Only a few people still take the risk to visit their farms.
“Our appeal is for the state government to come to our rescue by deploying more security personnel to our area. Farming is what we do to feed our families, we can’t even send our children to school now since we can’t farm to earn money,” he said.
He added that if security personnel are stationed around the area the people would be encouraged to continue with their activities.
Another resident who identified himself as John said they avoid using certain routes in the community due to security concerns, adding that even before the abduction of the girls’ residents were facing security challenges.
“We don’t like plying the road in the evening or night except if it is very urgent due to security challenges. You can see that our settlements are scattered so it is by the grace of God that we are still here,” he said.
Another resident said: “When the gunmen attacked the college most of the people were not aware because it was night and people don’t just come out in the middle of the night without a serious reason.”
The Vice-Principal (Administration) of the college, Mr. Shunom Giwa, said when he heard some noise outside his apartment he woke wife and children to go and hide. Before he returned to the sitting room, the gunmen were already trying to force open his doors.
“I opened the door and saw five young men with arms. Then, they asked me to lie down, I did, they asked me to give them what I had in my pocket, I gave them all I had. They then attempted to enter my bedroom, and knowing fully well that my wife and children were inside, I stood up to distract them, but they asked me to lie down, and I did.
“All of a sudden, they brought out my colleague, the Vice-Principal (Academic), they also asked him to lie on the floor. So, when I discovered that their attention was on my colleague, I just ran into the bush, then they shot at me, but fortunately, they didn’t get me. They searched for me without success. When they couldn’t get me, they started looking for where the students were. They went to the hostel and forced the door open. Then I started shouting, police, JTF, security, come, there are kidnappers here. They started shooting towards my direction again. I ran and jumped over the fence. It was because I kept shouting that made them leave the school in a hurry, otherwise they would have had a field day and gone with all the girls,” he said.