Nigeria’s North West Terror Corridor: Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Highway

The Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Highway, a crucial artery connecting Sokoto, a major trade center and the seat of the Caliphate with Kaduna, the political center of Northern Nigeria has become a nightmare for motorists and travelers. Almost no day goes by without a violent attack or kidnapping of innocent travelers on the axis. The victims in the recent reported incident were deliberately burned alive with cruelty right inside the vehicle that was transporting them.

The attack on Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna highway mimicked a previous deadly onslaught that has become the signature of the terrorists running free in that part of the north west in recent times. Eyewitness accounts and available reports say scores of people were abducted during the same attack.

These terrorists intercepted a convoy of motorists with security escorts between Kuriga and Manini near Udawa and an unspecified number of people were abducted into the bush on 31 May 2022.

Following the panic that ensued, travellers were forced to abandon their vehicles while some others veered off the road with shattered windshields and flat tyres. And despite the reported arrival of soldiers, the terrorist continued the siege on motorists and then abducting as well as killing and wounding many innocent citizens.

According to available reports, Ansaru (a local militia) had moved it's fighters to Udawa to go after the bandits but the bandits had moved to their enclave in Shado Forest. The local militias intervene from time to time to get sympathy and support from the locals as a way to recruit more fighters to its rank.

The despair of Nigerians can only be imagined as they watch helplessly while criminals exterminate them, yet the political will by the authorities to honor their oaths of office to protect the lives and property of our citizens remains a mirage.

Nigerians question why Federal and State governments have not taken full control of this terror axis. They posit if a regular security presence on this highway could be the panacea to the unending cycle of carnage, bandits and kidnappers.

Why should terrorists gain the upper hand while security forces remain on the sidelines? 

The Federal might is urgently needed on Birnin-Gwari -Kaduna highway.


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