Terrorist group, Ansaru has banned political activities in some commuties in the Eastern part of Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Ansaru, a splinter group of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists, has been operating in Birnin Gwari villages for years.
Birnin-Gwari Local Government has eleven political wards but western part consist of eight of the Wards.
A statement issued on Sunday by the chairman of Birnin-Gwari Emirate Progressives Union (BEPU), Ishaq Kasai, said the terrorist group banned political activities in many communities in the eastern part, apparently to exercise control over political and economic activities.
Kasai said the group regularly recruits young residents and marry young girls.
In May, the group reportedly began massive recruitment of residents in the LGA. They were also said to have distributed Sallah gifts, a five-page pamphlet titled; ‘We are not Boko Haram but Ansaru’, flash disks and other items to entice residents to join them.
“Infact the group continue to gain acceptance from many members of the commuties particularly in Old Kuyello and Damari of Kazage Ward.
“Even this week, two members of the group were engaged for wedding with two girls and will be tying the nuptial knots by the coming Saturday.
“The Ansaru (grooms) laid down some rules to the in-laws for the wedding. They ruled that, after the wedding, they will take the brides to the forests and live there with them and do not want the bride’s to go along with any furniture except plates (coolers) and matresses because anything other than that is not in tandem with their beliefs and and convictions.
“BEPU noted with dismay that the locals who have joined the group are afraid to live in the town because of the fear they could be arrested by the police or security agencies.
“BEPU disclosed that the clarion call among the newly recruits, is for the establishment of an Islamic state.
“The Ansaru and the newly recruits are of the belief that their numerical strength will help them to bring the present democratic government down.
“Presently the Ansaru are going round distributing memory cards to the locals which contains their beliefs and doctrine.
“A disturbing scenario is where the group banned all political activities in many communities such as Damari of Kazage Ward. Politicians from these communities have to go far away secretly to the neighboring communities before they hold political meetings.
“For instance this week an Okada rider who lives in Unguwar Makera of Kazage Ward was seen with a sticker of one of the candidates vying for the Kaduna State House of Assembly and he was thoroughly beaten by the Ansaru.
“People in these communities are now disenchanted and frustrated about participating in political activities.
“We don’t know how the coming Elections will take place in those areas because even the last Local Government Election did not hold in the Area due to the escalating insecurity which made the election results to be declared inconclusive and a Sole Administrator was appointed overseeing the affairs the Local Government up to now.
“In short, the Ansaru are now in charge of many of the communities in area and the group is expanding its occupation. They now call the shots and determine what is to be done in the villages they are dominating.
“Those among the locals who are interested in joining the group are increasing. Those who have joined already used to come back to the commuties and take those interested to the forests to spend days for indoctrination.
“When they come back, they usually narrate that, the Ansaru members used to tell them to go and join them to fight Government and democracy in order to install Islamic State.
“We are disturbed that despite the worrisome development, no meaningful response from authorities. Even recently when our people were attacked and eight cars were burnt and scores of our people were kidnapped on Birnin-Gwari to Kaduna Road, nothing has been done by the Government. Government has never acknowledged the incident or sympathize with our community.
“Our communities are being attacked, people kidnapped and killed daily without a response, acknowledgement or report”, the statement read in part.