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Escalating Insecurity in Sabon Gari Heightens Fear Among Kano Residents

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Aerial View of Sabon Gari Market/â“’NuumanAshaka on X

There is palpable tension among residents of Sabon Gari community in Fagge Local Government Area of Kano due to the recent spate of criminality in the area.

Many residents have had their valuables snatched, some have been killed and others are battling life-threatening injuries inflicted on them by criminals.

The once peaceful community is becoming a den of criminals.

Former Kano Pillars Player, Others Recount Experiences

From daily lootings to phone snatching, cult clashes to killings, and other vices, criminality is gradually becoming a norm in Sabon Gari.

On 18 November, a former Kano Pillars player (name withheld) was on his regular morning training when he was interrupted by two axe-wielding assailants.

They vandalized his car along Zungeru Road and took away his belongings.

“As I got into the car, I heard a loud noise on my car. Next thing I saw was guys with axes, demanding my phone,” the former player narrated.

“I handed the phone over, ran to the back seat and they zoomed off.”

 

A street in Sabon Gari, Kano

Police Helpless

Three days later, a Kano resident, Bassey, was accompanied by a Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps official when he fell victim to a similar attack on the same road.

Bassey lost his phones and N7, 500 but managed to escape.

“My guy (NSCDC) was trying to identify himself through his ID card, but the hoodlum whipped him with the gora (stick) twice on his arm,” he said.

“He couldn’t bear the pain anymore; he took to his heels and I followed him.

“In the process of running, I fell and they started hitting me with the stick. The other guy wanted to hit me with the cutlass but I blocked it with my hand, that was how he cut me with it.”

Bassey met with police officers shortly afterward but received no assistance despite his plight.

“I saw a group of policemen in their Hilux on the same Zungeru Road. One of them asked where I was coming from, I told him I was just attacked by some boys and they snatched my phone from me.

“They did not even say anything. They were even driving and asking me questions without stopping to examine the situation.”

Bassey’s wounded hand

In October 2023, Moses and his friend experienced a similar ambush with armed bandits at the African Centre, resulting in the theft of their possessions. Again, no action was taken when he reported the incident to nearby police.

According to Moses, “That was the shocking part of my life.

“There were policemen close by, we were begging that they come and help us but they said they cannot do anything about it. They said even if they go, the guys will escape through a gutter.”

Another individual from Abedi in Sabon Gari narrated a similar encounter where apprehended criminals returned to the streets, causing harm to those who reported them.

He condemned the police’s inaction.

Residents of nearby Nguru Road and Nomansland also shared distressing encounters with criminals, highlighting the inadequacy of local security.

A trader at Nguru Road observed that “at Calvary Life Church, there is a narrow road. Whenever they attack, they jump inside that 'lungu'. It is a daily issue.”

“Behind this 'adin' leading to that canal, these guys enter from there at any time either in the midnight or morning,” another resident at Zugeru Road lamented.

“They steal our car batteries, engines, and generators.”

A shop owner on the same Zungeru Road said stabbing of people early in the morning has become a regular occurrence.

“When people are going to work early morning, you’ll just hear a shout – they have stabbed someone.

“They will stab before they collect your property. That’s what we have been facing.

“Since I’ve been in this area, I haven’t seen anything like vigilante or security.”

Gunshots were reported in Sabon Gari on 27 November, leaving residents apprehensive.

Traditional Leaders Decline to Comment

Efforts to engage traditional leaders in the area were unsuccessful. Some of them declined to comment, while others ignored several messages to them.

But the member of the Kano State House of Assembly representing Fagge Constituency told Nigeria Info that the House was in the process of reviewing the Kano State Neighbourhood Security Watch Law of 2012 to align with the current security challenges.

Hon. Tukur Muhammad Fagge disclosed that vehicles and motorcycles would be launched to support police formations in Fagge to strengthen community policing and surveillance.

Yuletide Responsible for Rise in Insecurity -Police 

In its response to the menace, the Kano State Branch of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria assured Kano residents that it would collaborate with the police to tackle the rising crime.

The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Abdullahi Kiyawa, however, attributes the crime surge to the festive season.

He hinted at a collaboration with traditional leaders and vigilantes to tackle it.

“In our quarters, we need all these groups of vigilantes that will be assisting the police – the district head, ward heads, religious leaders, and traditional rulers,” he said.

“If there is any new emerging crime in the area, these stakeholders need to come together, be on the same page with the security, and find an alternative way to solve it.

“In addition, with what I’ve heard from you now, I will be in contact with the Divisional Police Officer, and inform the Commissioner of Police, to restrategize with them to ensure a safer environment over there.”

Police PRO, Abdullahi Kiyawa

Inadequate lighting in some areas of Sabon Gari compounds the security challenges, making it imperative for immediate security reinforcement.

In the meantime, residents await the prompt response of authorities.


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