From Mohammed Munirat Nasir, Gusau.
Survivors of Monday’s deadly attack on illegal miners in Gidan Ardo Village of Bindin District in Dansadau Emirate, Maru Local government area of Zamfara Sttate which left more than 35 people dead have described their escape as a divine act.
Some of the survivors, who are receiving treatment at the Ahmad Sani Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital (ASYBSH), Gusau, narrated to Daily Sun how they escaped the deadly attack and called on government to provide more security particularly in the rural areas of the state.
They said the bandits, numbering over 50, mostly came to the mining site on motor bikes and alleged that some of the bandits where brought to the area by a helicopter because they heard and saw the helicopter landing from afar and few minutes later the armed bandits appeared and began sporadical shooting at all directions.
One of the victims who escaped with several bullets wounds, Muratala Hussaini, from Bungudu Local Government Area, said he and others were in one of the many tunnels digging when they heard the sound of a helicopter landing and few minutes later they heard those working outside the tunnels shouting come out, thieves are around.
“I and the four others in our tunnel tried to come out but when we begin to hear the sound of gun shots we got confused and could not come out of our tunnel.
“The bandits came to the entrance of our tunnel and fired several times into the tunnel. I got hit four times in my chest and stomach while one hit me in the hand.
“We all fell and the bandits thought maybe we were all dead. They left for another tunnel and did same thing and by the time I came out, semi conscious, I saw many people dead,” he recounted.
Another survivor also receiving treatment at the hospital, Lawali Hussaini from Yamusawa Village in Kauran Namoda local government, said he and two others were working inside the tunnel when they heard those outside shouting and he tried to come out but could not as bullets keep flying around their tunnel.
He said the bandits never noticed the tunnel in which he and two others were hidding, so no gun shots were fired inside their tunnel and after staying for more than one hour when the shooting had stopped, they came out and took to their heels.
“I ran into the bandits in the bush. When I first saw them, I thought they were security personnel because they were wearing uniforms.
“One of them hit me with a cutlass on my head and threatened to shoot me dead if I tried to run away. I begged them to spare my life because I was in the mining site to look for my daily bread.
“They asked me to see their boss who asked me if I was a member of the vigilante called ‘Yansakai’, I said I don’t have a single charm not to talk of being a member of the Yansakai group. The boss assured me that I will not be killed but, suddenly, they were informed that the military were approaching and they escaped into the forest and, in the process of escaping, one of them shot me in the leg,” he said.
Head of Clinical Services of the hospital, Dr Abidemi Oyaromade said four injured people were brought to the hospital and another miner was brought in dead.
Oyaromade said one of the three treated at the hospital has been discharged while the remaining two are in stable condition.