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Sunday, 31 March 2019

Zamfara residents scramble for ‘bullet-proof' charms

Hundreds of people troop daily to Tsauni Village in Yankuzo District of Tsafe LGA of Zamfara State to acquire an anti-bullet amulet being sold by a resident. Many locals believe that the charm would protect them from bullets, as they live in constant fear of attacks from bandits.

People from different parts of the state throng Tsauni in search of the charm. They said taking the “bullet repellant” is the only option available, at least for now.

“Once you come here, you will be given a very tiny charm with a cup of water for you to swallow it. If you push it down your throat, you will pay N200 for it. Shots will be fired at you to test its efficacy. No-one is allowed to take it home as customers are asked to swallow it right from where they collect it,” a resident, Bala Hassan, said.

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It was learnt that the charm was initially hung on a tree and gun-wielding men would be asked to fire several shots at it, but the bullets would miss the tree.

“Many people have developed confidence in the efficacy of the anti-bullet charm over time, and it has gone to the extent that once people understand that you have taken it, shots will be fired at you and the bullets wouldn’t hurt you. Our people have learnt that armed criminals themselves, despite being in the possession of sophisticated rifles, are using anti gunshot concoctions for self-defence, therefore we will never allow them to outdo us in terms of self-protection,” another resident, Danmallam Sani, said.

A resident, Lawali Hamisu, attributed the craze for the anti-bullet charm to the failure of security operatives to protect lives and property. “The questions are: is the anti-gunshot charm the only option available and guaranteed means of protection and self-defence? Can residents continue to rely heavily on it?” he asked.

Daily Trust Saturday in Katsina gathered that recently, a man, Abu Sadara, was shot dead while trying to test a charm in Kwari Village of Farafara Ward in Jibia LGA. Also, one Mani Dogo-Dogo got life threatening injuries and was hospitalised. The deceased, alongside Dogo-Dogo, and two others, had travelled to Kankara to obtain the amulet.

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Rufai Batsari, who recently took the charm, said his reason was to secure and protect himself from attacks, adding, “I took it because of the incessant attacks on our villages and I’m optimistic it will work.”

Sani Sa’adu, a Senior Counselling Psychologist at the Guidance and Counselling Unit of Student Affairs Division, UMYU Katsina, said the recent surge for gun charms calls for increased concern from all stakeholders as it has great consequences on the society. He said increased enlightenment is needed for people to desist from such as it is not right and not a solution. 

Daily Trust

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