Bandits Attack Palace of Emir of Zurmi, Killing Three and Abducting Others

by Ohepo Ohepo

In a brazen attack late Wednesday night, bandits targeted the palace of the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Bello Muhammad Bunu, killing three individuals and abducting several residents of the town, including key figures near the royal residence. The incident has sent shockwaves through the local community and has raised concerns about the security of traditional rulers in the region.

According to local sources, the attackers stormed Zurmi around 10pm, directly targeting the Emir’s palace with gunfire at the entrance in an attempt to breach the gates and capture the Emir, who was believed to be the primary target. The Emir had recently returned to the town after surviving a previous kidnapping attempt, which prompted his temporary relocation to the state capital, Gusau, for safety.

The assault didn’t stop at the royal residence; the bandits also attacked the home of Colonel Bala Muhammad Mande (rtd), a former Military Administrator of Nasarawa State and a former minister under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration. Although Colonel Mande was not present during the attack, significant damage was inflicted on his property.

During their rampage, the assailants also destroyed a GSM mast and set fire to two generators adjacent to the Emir’s palace, further disrupting communication and power supply in the area.

A resident, seeking anonymity for safety, described the terrifying ordeal, “When the bandits started shooting, residents fled into the bush for safety. The intensity of the gunshots was frightening, and no one dared to stay back.”

The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Muhammad Shehu Dalijan, confirmed the attack and the abduction of one palace staff member, although he could not confirm the deaths immediately. Reports from other sources noted that among those abducted were the Sarkin Gida of Zurmi Emirate, Alhaji Yusuf Buhari; a local tea seller; and another individual, all caught in the vicinity of the palace during the attack.

This incident marks the second major attack on a royal palace in Zamfara State within a year, following a similar assault on the palace of the Emir of Maru, Alhaji Abubakar Gado Maigari. That attack resulted in the deaths of a policeman and a physically challenged person.

Residents, like Muhammad Inuwa, express their despair and fear, with many contemplating relocation to safer areas. Inuwa, a father of six, voiced his concerns about the dual burden of economic hardship and rampant banditry, “I cannot bear it anymore. We are struggling to cope with the economic situation and at the same time battling with banditry.”

The community now calls on the government to enhance security measures and ensure the protection of its citizens, especially as the threat of further attacks looms large. The local vigilante groups and the state-owned Community Protection Guard (CPG) have been mobilized to provide additional security around the palace, but the need for a more robust response remains critical.

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