By Andy Asemota
Details have emerged on why protesters blocked Katsina – Marabar Kankara road on Thursday following gunmen attacks and how the threats of the hoodlums to storm Federal University Dutsin-ma (FUDMA) host community, Turare, in the early hours of the day, made the varsity staff and others flee for their lives.
Speaking on the incident, a principal officer of the university, who did not want his name in print because he was not authorized to speak on behalf of the institution, said although Turare village was about 22km away from Dutsin-ma town, they had to take another route from the village through Sayaya in Matazu Local government area, cross over to Kafin Soli in Kankia LGA to get to Dutsin-ma after travelling about of about 100km because bandits could strike at any moment and enraged protesters were seen then as part of the government that caused their woes.
His words: “We were working in our respective offices as usual around 10 am when we started hearing that bandits had operated last night in many neighbouring villages surrounding the campus; livestock were carted away and lives were lost.
” We were also informed that Turare village itself and the other villages surrounding the campus had been informed by the bandits that their own turn would be today (Thursday) in the morning.
” On the strength of the information and usual risks associated with that, the VC directed that we should relocate to the take off-campus which is located in Dutsin-ma town and is relatively safe. We quickly deserted the campus in a convey of a sort and headed to Dutsin-ma town. The convoy consisted of many official and personal vehicles.
“Along the way, we discovered that the villages along the road, which had received threats from the bandits and received influx of refugee villagers and large herds of livestock from the inner villages, had mounted roadblocks in protest for being abandoned to the mercy of the criminals.
” Tyres were burnt and black cloudy smoke could be sighted couple of kilometres away. Our convoy had to park by the protesting villagers who were uttering vituperative words against government and provocative statements against us, clearly lumping us up with the government decision-makers.”
According to him, they had to make turn back and take another route as they were facing double jeopardy – from the villagers and suspected bandits that could strike suddenly.
Neither the spokesperson person of the university, Habib Garba Matazu, nor his Katsina police command’s counterpart, Gambo Isah, could be reached for comments as at press time on Thursday. Our correspondent however gathered that normalcy was restored along the highway and in the area around 3 pm.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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