As many as seven kids have actually been reported killed in a stampede of citizens leaving from outlaws in Shimfida, Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The incident happened Thursday early morning, a couple of hours after soldiers serving in a joint security task force were withdrawn from the community, residents informed PREMIUM TIMES.
The soldiers were stationed at Government Secondary School, Shimfida, about 27 Kilometres from Jibia town, the regional council head office, until their withdrawal on Thursday.
Kabir Haruna, the councillor for Shimfida ward in the regional council, told PREMIUM TIMES that the soldiers had actually been in the town for about eight years.
He said their existence had supplied the community a sense of defense from attack by bandits, thus the homeowners feared that the withdrawal of the soldiers on Thursday had suddenly made the neighborhood susceptible.
Their worry appeared to be confirmed when they heard volleys of gunshots in the surrounding hills.
A leader of a civil society organisation in the state, Muntari TBO, informed PREMIUM TIMES that the deadly stampede was triggered by the noises of the gunshots, with the homeowners thinking the bandits had launched an attack.
It was later on learnt that the bandits were just celebrating the exit of the soldiers from the area, a local later said after the town had been deserted.
Mr TBO stated the military and federal government did not inform the neighborhood ahead of the withdrawal of the soldiers.
Bara’u Muhammad, an indigene of Shimfida, residing in Jibia town, said over 1000 kids and women running away Shimfida had gotten here in Jibia town by Thursday afternoon.
“They are taking refuge at Tashar Furera in Pilot Primary School, Jibia. Others have actually crossed to the neighbouring Niger Republic via Gurbin Baure neighborhood,” Mr Muhammad said, verifying that Shimfida had been deserted.
He said a lot of the running away citizens travelled to Jibia from Shimfida.
Mr Muhammad said the remains of the 7 children were buried Thursday night in Jibia, while the hurt persons from the stampede remained in hospital in Jibia.
“The councillor for Shimfida ward signed up with residents in funeral prayers in Jibia for the seven children who passed away from the stampede,” Mr Muhammad included.
The known phone contact of the cops representative in Katsina, Gambo Isah, did not connect since Thursday night when the press reporter attempted to reach him to discuss the occurrence.
Jibia is one of the 13 frontline local government areas in Katsina State for banditry attacks. In 2015, the state government cut telecommunications networks in the area to name a few steps to check the activities of armed criminal groups.