Gunmen suspected to be bandits, on Tuesday, cut off the fuel supply to Dansadau town and other neighbouring communities in Zamfara State after they intercepted and set ablaze an oil tanker along Gusau-Dansadau Road.
The fuel tanker was among dozens of other vehicles being escorted to Dansadau by security operatives onboard an armoured personnel carrier when suddenly the armed criminals opened fire on the tanker triggering huge flames.
According to a report by Daily Trust, the owner of the tanker, Yau Muhammad Dansadau said the vehicle was carrying fuel from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot in Gusau to supply a filling station in the community, to address the acute fuel shortage following the closure of other filling stations.
He said: “The whereabouts of the driver and one other person on board the vehicle are unknown. They may have been kidnapped. The fear is that there is going to be an acute shortage of fuel very soon. Motorcycles, vehicles and other machines using petrol will soon stop.
“As I am told, the fuel tanker was not only the vehicle attacked, several other motorists jumped out of their vehicles and scampered to safety despite the fact that the attackers were engaged in a firefight by the police escort.
“No vehicle can ply that road without escort; dozens of people especially local traders and commercial drivers have been killed or kidnapped along that 100 km road that is in a very terrible condition.
“The attack is precisely occurring at a very dangerous spot called Mashayar Zaki, just a few kilometres to reach Dansadau. The armed men are lurking around the area to attack every moving vehicle.”
The armed men were said to have cut off the supply of essential commodities to Dansadau after the closure of community markets and stoppage of the supply chain for groceries, food and soft drinks to them in the forest.
Bandits have been especially active in Dansadau over the past months.
They increasingly heightened attacks after security efforts to bring them under control.
A former Zamfara senator, Saidu Dansadau said bandits were scaling up attacks on the Dansadau community to protest the suspension of Emir Hussaini Umar, accused of involvement in banditry.
Umar was suspended in June by the state government for his alleged involvement in banditry.
Dansadau, who represented Zamfara central from 1999 to 2007, said the spike in attacks on the community shows the suspended emir was complicit in the attacks and cattle rustling by bandits.