From Femi Oyelola Kaduna
A lecturer at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Isah Muhammad has said the Brinin Gwari community lost over N100 billion to activities of bandits in the area.
He disclosed this in a statement made available to the media in Kaduna today.
According to him, since1999 when cases of armed robbery began to disturb the people of Birnin Gwari, the socio-economic activities of the people in Birnin Gwari began to be threatened.
He added that the losses incurred on Birnin Gwari are so devastating that the lives of the people are in shamble, saying People are living in excruciating moments as the insecurity has plunged and muddled their lives in pigsty.
He added that armed robbery along Kaduna-Birnin Gwari highway and Birnin Gwari-Funtua highway has been wearisome because It has ravaged the agricultural sector of lots of farmers; it has crippled the commercial commitment of many business people due to irksome fear of armed robbers and of recent, kidnappers.
“The closure of banks in Birnin Gwari was one of the immediate repercussions of armed banditry in Birnin Gwari which followed a violent attack on the banks on 31st January 2013 by armed bandits as a result of which the buildings of the banks were destroyed.
“The affected banks were First bank and Ecobank. These banks suspended their banking operations since 2013, four years precisely.
“The community banks were source of great convenience for the entire people of Birnin Gwari as they encourage savings and have empowered small scale businesses significantly.
” Before the establishment of those branches of banks, people in Birnin Gwari used to travel all the way to Kaduna, some 120 kilometres, for banking operations, and savings were not taken to heart in those days.
“Those branches of banks were indeed the heartbeat of Birnin Gwari. They helped tremendously in facilitating loans for the farmers and business firms to boost entrepreneurship. Birnin Gwari developed greatly into becoming a modern business hub before those banks were forced to stop operations.
“Governments in the past and the present have tried insufficiently to curb the problem, at some time, they have succeeded and the problem continued to reemerge in clandestine ways.
“One is not wrong to say that that there is no success in the fight as at this moment. This is because the cases of insecurity in Birnin Gwari appear to defy all measures being taken by the government, though we are still optimistic and remain hopeful,” The statement reads.