John Adams, Minna, who was in Kargi
As kidnapping and other forms of armed banditry rage on in Kaduna communities, the Kaduna Hunters Association has come out to challenge the state government that the association has what it takes to bring the situation under control.
The hunters believe that the armed banditry going on in Kaduna communities has dragged for too long, arguing that the government must now involve them in the fight against the criminals.
The hunters who said they may not have the conventional means of fighting the kidnappers and other bandits, however, explained: “What we have the soldiers and the police don’t have it. Where they cannot enter, we can enter, we have antidote to kidnapping activities in Kaduna State.”
In recent times, kidnapping and banditry activities have made lives very miserable for the people of Kaduna State, reducing farming, social and economic activities to the lowest ebb.
From Brinin Gwari to Jere, Kajuru to Katere, it has been tales of woes and lamentation as the people watched helplessly as their loved ones are either kidnapped, killed or raped with reckless abandon.
To the people of these communities under siege by armed bandits, life has become meaningless as their farmlands have been converted to burial grounds with hundreds of them being killed on a daily basis.
The current security situation in Kaduna State is that of “everybody to himself and God for us all” as the situation seems to have defied every security arrangement put in place to bring the menace under control.
The recent onslaught by armed men along the Kaduna-Abuja highway has now forced travellers along this ever-busy road to abandon it for the train.
The situation is the same along the Birnin Gwari road, extending to Alawa community in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State with no end in sight.
The people in the entire communities, who are predominantly farmers, have fled from their ancestral homes and abandoned their farming business with food crisis looming.
While the police, soldiers and other security agents continue to search for a way to bring the situation under control, hunters in Kaduna State have challenged the state government to engage their services, saying that their members have the antidote to kidnapping and other forms of armed banditry in the state.
The hunters said what they need from the government was the green light to commence operations and the necessary encouragement to be able to carry out the task, and the people can be rest assured of sleeping with their two eyes closed.
The Secretary of the Kaduna State Hunters Association, Mallam Dahiru Kanga Kargi, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent who was in Kargi, Kubawo Local Government Area of the state believed that there will be no end to the security challenges facing the state unless the hunters are called in to compliment the efforts of other security agents.
Mallam Dahiru, 60, disclosed that his members, spread all over the northern states have successfully tamed robbery activities in a number of places across the region where the security agents had failed to make any head way.
“All we need is for the government to encourage and mobilize us and we will take the fight to the kidnappers’ den. Anywhere there was security challenges across the North, people used to call us for help, but the government has not yet known our importance,” Dahiru said.
He said that he has been into hunting business for 37 years, and revealed how he and his members foiled a number of robbery incidents not only within his Kargi community alone, but across communities in Kaduna State.
Hear him: “Recently I arrested a leader of armed robbers after they had killed three policemen who went after them. The police called me to come and assist them, and when I sent my men (hunters) to the place, they said they couldn’t see the gang leader, but that they only saw a little boy in the room.
“After five days my men went back again and still met the same little boy. This time around I asked them to bring the boy for me to see. When they brought the little boy, I took him to a room and looked at him very well, there I discovered that he was the gang leader that was always turning to a little boy each time they came for his arrest.
“Inside the room, he turned to adult and engaged me in a fight, but I over powered him, arrested him and handed him over to the police.”
Dahiru, a primary school teacher and victim of Governor El-Rufai’s mass sack in Kaduna State, regretted that the government was unaware of the hunters crime-fighting skills.
He stressed that the hunters were ready to join forces with the security agents, to bring the insecurity situation especially in Kaduna State under control.
Recalling that his past efforts were not recognized by either the government or the public, Dahiru said: “You keep sleeping in the bush in an effort to help the system, but nobody recognizes your efforts. You abandoned everything including your family to sleep in the bush and come back without anything to show for it.
“There was a time when we, hunters in Kaduna State spent six months in the bush around Birnin Gwari, Jere, Katere and other places battling armed bandits and we recorded huge success, but at the end of the day, there was nothing to show for it.”
He also recalled how the Kaduna State hunters and police community relations committee had several meetings with the Commissioner of Police where “we bared our minds on a number of challenges facing us, but unfortunately he himself is handicapped.
“We also had an enlarged security meeting at Manga Plaza in Kaduna where it was agreed that a security committee, comprising all stakeholders including the hunters and local vigilante should be constituted in view of the rising cases of kidnapping and armed banditry in the state, but at the end of the day nothing came out of it,” he said.
The hunters believe that the government must seek for collaboration and the assistance of all stakeholders, especially the local hunters and the vigilante if they want it wants kidnapping and armed banditry to stop in Kaduna State.
In addition to this, he urged the government to be ready to deal decisively with anybody found to be connected with kidnapping, no matter how highly placed the person is in the society.
His word: “The problem is that sometimes when you arrest these kidnappers, before you know it he would be released because someone had paid for his release. All these kidnappers and armed bandits have their backers who always give them protection in time of arrest. The people in these communities know those who are doing the kidnapping, but they are afraid to disclose their identity because when they (kidnappers) are arrested, before you know it they are set free again, that is why people don’t want to expose them.”