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Bauchi: The People And ‘Sara

| January 5, 2013 More

Before the transition to civil rule in 1999, the people of Bauchi State, especially those in the metropolis, had lived peacefully and safely, without fear of any kind of molestation or attacks from anybody, except those of night thieves or robbers.

But for the past 14 years, when the wind of politics blew and politicians took over the country, groups of violent, dreaded and cruel thugs sprang up in Bauchi and subjected residents to cruel attacks. These criminals, who were alleged to be sponsored by politicians to achieve selfish political interests, are popularly known in the state as ‘Sara-Suka thugs.’ Sara-suka, which is an Hausa word, means cutting and stabbing.  And that is exactly what the miscreants do in the town.

Although the activities of the thugs at the initial stage were to escort their candidates with sticks, knives, animal horns, machetes and other locally made dangerous weapons to campaigns, place posters, sign- boards and fight rivals, they eventually turned out to be more daring as they unleashed terror on the people even beyond election periods.

LEADERSHIP WEEKEND also gathered that the hoodlums, who were in different gangs and scattered in parts of the state capital, do not only fight among themselves, but they kill, injure and maim anybody who offends them in one way or another. It is said that they can attack at the slightest provocation.

Apart from that, the unscrupulous youths also carry out a special operation called ‘shara’ (sweeping), to attack innocent people in parts of the state capital, often without any provocation.

Whenever they come out for the sweeping operation in any place of target, the Sara-suka terrorists do not spare anyone as they cut and stab everybody who comes their way, including children, old men, women, traders, okada riders, as well as domestic animals: sheep, goats and rams. Their intention during such raids is always to chase every creature away, even as they destroy vehicles parked on the road or left by the fleeing victims.

What is more worrisome about the Sara-suka story in Bauchi is that the group also came up with another form of crime they called ‘Daukar Amarya.’ By this act they rape ladies indiscriminately at nights when they pass by their way, just as they snatch mobile phones.   This, it was gathered, has thrown residents of the state capital into panic such that they remain indoors whenever the thugs threaten to raid a particular area. Unfortunately, the people are not brave enough to confront them, just as the security operatives also seem helpless.

However, few years after 2007, the thugs reappeared, becoming more violent. Over 200 people are reported to have lost their lives to the activities of this group in different parts of Bauchi metropolis. Some of the most notorious Sara-suka areas in the state capital include Bakaro, Karofin Madaki, Kofar Dumi, Kwanan Kwaila, Yakubu Wanka and Nasarawa. Others are Kobi, Gwallaga, Wunti and Jahun.

Worried by the attacks, maiming and killing of innocent people by the notorious ‘Sara-suka’ hoodlums in parts of the state, community, religious, traditional and political leaders recently met to brainstorm on how to curb the menace once and for all.
The emergency meeting, which was summoned by a social group known as ‘ Majidadi B Community Development Association’ and held at Fariah Hotels, Bauchi, was chaired by the former Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Ibrahim Yakubu Lame.

In his remarks, chairman of the association, Aminu Muhammed, the Danmaliki of Bauchi, explained that the meeting became imperative in view of the nefarious activities being committed on a daily basis by the thugs, noting that for the past couple of months, the Sara-suka gangsters have killed over 200 people in the Karofinmadaki, Kofardumi, Bakaro and other areas, all in Majidadi B ward of Bauchi Local Government Area.

He added that the miscreants do not only injure or kill innocent souls in the affected communities, they also rape women and rob people of their valuables, stressing that the elite in the ward could not fold their hands and watch the menace to continue.
“Youth restiveness is a despicable act being perpetrated by a significant number of our youths. This can no longer be ignored.

Isn’t it really catastrophic and unbelievable that by a rough count, about 200 people have been killed in Bauchi as a result of the menace of Yansarasuka? Our ward has remained the theatre of this war among the various youth camps in Bauchi town. Just today, these boys killed the son of the ward head of the area, who is also the Dan Amar of Bauchi,” he noted.

The former Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Ibrahim Yakubu Lame, in an interview, admitted that the Sara-suka thuggery in the state was created by the politicians who use them during election campaigns and dump them at the end of the day, thereby making them to resort to attacking innocent people.

But the state commissioner for Community Development, represented by his permanent secretary, Alhaji Ahmed Tukur, during the emergency meeting on the Sara-suka thugs, attributed the menace to unemployment and poverty, promising that government would come up with more youth empowerment programmes so as to overcome restiveness and transform them to be self-reliant.

Also speaking, chairman of Bauchi Local Government Area, Alhaji Baba Ma’aji, said that although there were many other challenges faced by the local government, the menace of Sara-suka would be the first to be tackled because it posed serious threat to the lives of the citizens, even as he also ascribed it to lack of proper upbringing of children by their parents.

While the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, represented by the district head of Bauchi metropolis,  Alhaji Nuru Adamu Jumba, who said that the elders meeting was timely and commendable, added that it would go a long way in bringing enduring solution to the problem.

More so, as part of efforts to reduce drug abuse among youths, office of the director-general, Bauchi State Tsangaya Education, has organised free classes for school dropouts.

In an interview with LEADERSHIP WEEKEND, the director-general, Sayyadi Aliyu Dahiru Bauchi, explained that the initiative was aimed at rehabilitating the youth to make them useful members of the society who can be called upon for national development.

Bauchi, who said the drug addicts would be selected randomly in parts of the state on a quarterly basis to benefit from the gesture, added that they would be sponsored by the state government after their rehabilitation to study in modern schools or engaged in skills acquisition programmes.

“The youths indulge in thuggery as a result of indiscriminate taking of drugs. So we believe that if they are rehabilitated, they would come back to their senses and become good citizens. But if we allow them to continue like this, the society is in trouble, which is what informed our decision to organise these free classes for them,” he explained.

The director-general, who revealed that participants of the free lectures would be given the sum of N2, 000 monthly for assistance, said the present administration in the state is committed to revamping both western and Islamic education. He also applauded Governor Isa Yuguda for approving the payment of salaries to almajiri teachers across the state.

Category: Bauchi State News

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