Bandits Kidnap Imam, 17 Worshippers At Zamfara Mosque – Police

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

Bandits on motorcycles have attacked a Jumuat mosque in Zamfara and abducted the imam and 17 other worshippers in a community in Zamfara State, the police said on Sunday.

The attack reportedly took place on Friday.

According to the police spokesperson in the state, Mohammed Shehu, the bandits arrived during a congregational prayer at Dutsen Gari, a farming community in Kanoma district of Maru local government area.

READ ALSO: Zamfara Governor Secures Release Of 11 Kidnapped Victims

The gunmen killed some members of the community during the attack, the police said.

The police spokesperson said efforts have been set in motion to rescue the abducted person.

The attack is the latest in a string of kidnappings that have rocked Nigeria’s northwest in recent years.

Recently, Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, said he had secured the rescue of 11 kidnapped persons in the state.

Troops Kill Three Bandits, Arrest Nine Others In Katsina, Zamfara

 

Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have killed three bandits and arrested nine others in Katsina and some parts of Zamfara States.

In a statement issued on Monday by the Acting Director of the Defence Media Operations, Benard Onyeuko, the troops also arrested a suspected informant to the bandits while rescuing eight kidnapped victims in the north-west region.

The defence spokesman said the recent success recorded was part of the quest towards riding the zone of banditry, Kidnapping and other criminality.

“On 24 August 2020, following a distress call from locals, troops arrested a suspected bandit named Lawali Dairu at Yauni village in Safana LGA of Katsina State. The suspect invaded the village alongside one Ila Musa to kidnap a woman but met strong resistance from local vigilante group in the area.

“However, his accomplice escaped before troops arrived the village. During investigation, the suspect confessed being an associate of a bandit leader named Mallam Yau hibernating in Tsafe forest. Concerted effort to arrest his cohorts is ongoing,” Onyeuko was quoted as saying.

Simlarly, military authorities said troops rescued six persons said to be wandering around Tungar Kaduku forest in Zamfara State.

Preliminary investigation revealed that they are natives of Damari village in Bakura Local Government Area of the state who were earlier kidnapped by suspected bandits in their village.

READ ALSO: Two Suspects Arrested In Attempt To Commit Robbery

Their escape, according to the defence spokesman, was possible due to intense pressure by troops presence and operational activities in the area. The rescued victims were immediately reunited with their families.

“Relatedly, on 28 August 2020, troops conducted a raid operation at some identified bandits hideouts at Gamji Village.

“During the operation, 6 suspects were apprehended while troops recovered 1 Dane Gun, 1 Motorcycle and 2 cutlasses from the suspects.

“On same day, troops deployed at Zakka acting on credible intelligence arrested 3 suspected armed bandits namely Sagar Garba, Hafisu Mato and Suleiman Sada. Suspects were identified by locals to be members of a syndicate terrorizing the general area.

“During preliminary investigation the suspects confessed their involvements in recent cattle rustling activities at Kwaya, Sabon Birni and Baure villages. All arrested suspects are undergoing investigation while effort is ongoing to apprehend other criminals in the general area,” Onyeuko said.

While reiterating the commitment of the Armed Forces in ridding the nation of banditry and other forms of criminality, the defence spokesman asked residents of the north western region to avail troops with timely information.

Troops Arrest Three Arm Smugglers In Sokoto, Recover Weapons

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ
A file photo of troops.

 

As parts of efforts to rid the nation of bandits, troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

The suspects – Alhaji Adamu Alhassan, Salisu Adamu and Abdullahi Sani were arrested by the troops following credible intelligence.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Monday by the Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko.

The suspects were said to be citizens of the Republic of Niger.

“In what could be described as an unprecedented stride, gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY deployed at Forward Operation Base Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State on 15 August 2020 after a painstaking undercover operation successfully smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate who specialize in massive arms supply to bandits in the North West from across the international borders,” the statement partly read.

Items recovered from the suspects include six AK-47 Rifles, three AK-47 Rifle magazines and 2,415 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition deceptively concealed in various parts of their vehicle.

The military authorities said preliminary investigation revealed that the dangerous consignment was meant for some bandits in Isah Local Government Area of the state.

According to them, a swift interception by the troops prevented the further loss of lives of innocent people of the state.

Similarly, troops destroyed 12 bandit camps at Yobe Baranda in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State last week Wednesday.

Following the clearance operation, three bandits were killed in the process with others fleeing with “various degrees of gunshot wounds.”

Troops successfully “arrested a suspected bandit named, Shehu Abdullahi while spying on traders’ activities in the market with the intent of organizing for their kidnap.”

Blame Service Chiefs Not Buhari For Banditry – Katsina Governor

FILE: Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, speaks during a visit to an IDP camp in the state on June 28, 2020.

 

Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, on Saturday blamed Service Chiefs for the perpetuation of banditry in the state.

According to Masari, President Muhammadu Buhari has done all it takes to ensure security in the region.

He made the remarks while presenting a N10 million economic empowerment cheque to 1,000 women and N7 million scholarship support cheque to 701 students in the Rimi Local Government Area of the state.

The Governor said he couldn’t understand why they haven’t done more to help the region since they (the Service Chiefs) were all Northerners.

He also said the bandits are now camouflaging and living with the people.

“We know them and their parents,” he said. “To identify bandits in rural communities is not a difficult task, because you know his business, his farmland capacity, his livestock.

“And if one day he buys a new motorcycle amounting to over N200,000 naira, then you must know that he is selling people’s lives.”

Katsina State, President Buhari’s home state, has recently been a hotbed for banditry, along with other North-West states.

On August 10, bandits attacked the Kurfi area of the state and kidnapped a 13-year-old girl.

In June, Katsina youths took to major streets in the state capital to protest against the loss of innocent lives and properties resulting from the recurrent bandit attacks.

President Buhari has charged security leaders to do more in protecting the region.

Air Force Launches Fresh Offensive Against Bandits In Sokoto

Personnel of the Nigerian Air Force carrying out an operation in the north-western part of the country. Credit: NAF

 

 

The Nigerian Air Force has launched a fresh offensive against bandits in Sokoto State, Northwest Nigeria.

This resulted to the death of several bandits and the destruction of some of their camps by the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji.

In a statement issued on Tuesday by the spokesman of the Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, the operation was carried out on July 6.

According to him, the military exercise aimed at ridden the region of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers, and other criminal elements is in collaboration with the Defence Headquarters (DHQ)-led Operation Accord.

Meanwhile, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has reiterated his commitment in fighting criminal elements in the north western states.

Abubakar who has been in Sokoto to oversee the planning and launch of the Operation, expressed satisfaction with what has been achieved so far.

He noted that while sustaining the air offensive, the Air Component was working closely with ground troops to ensure that the armed bandits that escape the aerial bombardments are mopped up on the ground.

READ ALSO: Ondo Assembly Serves Impeachment Notice To Deputy Governor

The Air chief disclosed that because the Kagara Forest extends to Niger Republic, there was also ongoing liaison with the Nigerien Authorities to ensure that the bandits do not escape through the international borders.

While calling for the support of all Nigerians, he assured the people of the military’s determination in creating a stable and secured environment.

“Security and development are two sides of the same coin and I am very happy with what the State Government is doing in order to enhance development of communities so that people can see that they have a stake in the system.

“With what we are doing and what State Governments are doing, the problem of armed banditry will soon fizzle out,” he said.

Troops Kill Bandit, Recover Weapons In Benue

Some items, including charms and military camouflage recovered from the bandits in Benue. Credit: Defence DHQ

 

Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke have killed one bandit in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.

This was confirmed in a statement issued by the Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche on Sunday.

According to Enenche, the troops under Operation Accord swung on the bandits following reports of their activities around Ginde area of Saghev Council Ward in the affected local council.

Following the raid conducted by the soldiers, the bandits fled with gunshot injuries while some exhibits were recovered from them.

These items include one Galil rifle, one Galil magazine, quantity 13 X 7.5mm ammunition, one Motorcycle one woodland camouflage shirt, some quantities of Indian Hemp and assorted charms.

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Subsequently, their camp was also destroyed.

Similarly, troops have arrested two suspects linked to the kidnap of a teacher in Foga LGA and area of the state.

The suspect – Yahuza Danlami and Danladi Baushe have been handed over to the Nigeria Police at Awe for investigations.

Recovered from them is a locally made rifle found in their possession.

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Police Rescue Five Kidnap Victims In Katsina

 

The Police in Katsina State have rescued five victims of kidnap from their captors along the Kankara-Yantumaki highway.

They were rescued on Tuesday after the military and police of Yantumaki responded to a distress call that bandits had blocked and kidnapped some passengers.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the police spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, the joint team chased and engaged the bandits into a gun duel on June 16 at about 02:00 hrs.

The statement further revealed that the team also recovered five motorcycles abandoned by the hoodlums as investigations are ongoing.

It could be recalled that Katsina residents had on Tuesday taken to the major streets in the state capital, protesting against the renewed bandits attacks resulting in the loss of innocent lives and property in the state.

The peaceful protest tagged ‘Stop The Bloodshed’, #EnoughoftheRecklessKillings and #EnoughoftheBloodbath, was powered by a coalition of northern groups in conjunction with six relevant groups including some civil society organisations in the state.

Their protest comes one week after bandits numbering over 200, armed with sophisticated weapons reportedly killed over 50 villagers across eight communities in Faskari Local Government Area of the state.

Meanwhile,  as part of efforts to find solutions to the current insecurity bedeviling the state and other northwestern states in the country, top security chiefs today visited the state.

Read Also: Nigeria Fully Capable Of Dealing With Banditry, Terrorism – Presidency

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Mongunu was among those who arrived at the state, along with the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Magaji, all led by the state police commissioner, CP Sanusi Buba.

On arrival at the General Muhammadu Buhari House, Katsina, the team had a closed-door meeting with the state governor, Aminu Bello Masari.

Speaking shortly after the meeting which lasted over two hours, Mongunu told reporters that the mission of the visit was to discuss with the state governor in response to the security occurrences in the last couple of weeks.

He said he was optimistic that the discussion with the governor would give a clearer picture of the underlined causes of the problem and no doubt go a long way for the team to realize where the gaps exist with the intention to work collectively and bring an end to the current security problem not only in Katsina but also other northern states.

Mongunu described the situation he saw on the ground as highly disturbing, noting that obviously without the collective effort of both the local community and the security agencies, the fight would not be conquered.

The delegation also paid a condolence visit to the emirs of Katsina and Daura, HRHs Abdulmumini Kabir Usman and Umar Faruq Umar at the inner chambers of the palace, Katsina where Usman commended the team for the visit.

He also appealed to journalists to always stick to truths no matter how bitter it is, while also warning people conniving with bandits to fear Allah as they will also be accounted for their deeds in the hereafter.

Meanwhile, Usman used the opportunity to warn the president that there are enemies around him while pledging to intensify prayers for the good of the country.

“I have always been saying this even before the president that he should be careful that there exist enemies in and around him, they always want to sabotage the efforts of his administration. This sabotage will not only affect the administration but also damage the entire northern region. If Buhari is sabotaged that means the north is being sabotaged,” he said.

Nigeria Fully Capable Of Dealing With Banditry, Terrorism – Presidency

'It's Jealousy': Garba Shehu Faults PDP's Comments On Niger Governors’ Visit
A file photo of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.

 

The Presidency has assured Nigerians, again, that the nation’s armed forces are fully capable of dealing with the challenges of banditry and terrorism, urging more patience as the military takes appropriate steps to block gaps being exploited to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who has approved a joint military and police operation specifically targeted at combing Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States to rid the areas of bandits, assures that surveillance will be improved, with more night vision aircraft already deployed under “Operation Accord’’.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu the President’s Senior Special Assistant, the operation was launched three weeks ago.

READ ALSO: Share Knowledge From Research, Science To Fight Coronavirus – Buhari

“Nigeria’s military has displayed its capabilities in the past and will show it again by dealing with the current challenges,” the President says.

President Buhari appealed to the people of Katsina State to be patient and supportive of the ongoing military operations in the state while sympathizing with those who are bereaved, injured, and lost properties.

President Buhari admonishes that taking to the streets for protest could distract the military operations, urging “Katsina indigenes not to give up on the military who over the years have a strong track record of quelling crises once given enough time.

“The major forests in North-Western Nigeria have been identified as home to the bandits in the region. The operation will clear all these forests,’’ he further said.

Banditry: NSA, IGP, DSS Boss Visit Katsina

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu meets with Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

 

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Muhammed Adamu, the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Magaji have arrived Katsina State over the security situation in the state.

The IGP was joined by other security stakeholders led by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Sanusi Buba.

On arrival at the General Muhammadu Buhari Government House, the team had a closed-door meeting with Governor Aminu Masari over the recent wave of banditry and other crimes in the state.

Speaking to reporters shortly after the 2-hour meeting, Monguno said the visit was in response to the occurrences in the last couple of weeks and to know the underlining causes of the problems from a collective point of view.

READ ALSO: Bayelsa Records 54 New COVID-19 Cases

While lamenting the spate of attacks in the state, the NSA is however optimistic that security agencies can effectively deal with the criminal elements unleashing mayhem on the people.

According to him, there is a need to make the people within the communities to have confidence in the security operatives.

“We need to build and restore the confidence of the local community and we had necessary reassurance from the state governor,” he said.

Nigeria Fully Capable Of Dealing With Banditry, Terrorism – Presidency

 

The presidency has assured Nigerians that the nation’s armed forces are fully capable of dealing with the challenges of banditry and terrorism.

They, therefore, urged Nigerians to exercise more patience as the military takes appropriate steps to block gaps being exploited to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu on Tuesday.

According to the statement, President Muhammadu Buhari, who has approved a joint military and police operation specifically targeted at combing Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states to rid the areas of bandits, assures that surveillance will be improved, with more night vision aircraft already deployed under “Operation Accord’’.

The operation is said to have been launched three weeks ago.

“Nigeria’s military has displayed its capabilities in the past and will show it again by dealing with the current challenges,” the President was quoted to have said.

He also sympathized with residents of Katsina State who may have been bereaved, injured or lost properties.

Meanwhile, the president warned that taking to the streets for protest could distract the military operations. He, therefore, urged “Katsina indigenes not to give up on the military who over the years have a strong track record of quelling crises once given enough time.

“The major forests in North-Western Nigeria have been identified as home to the bandits in the region. The operation will clear all these forests,’’ he said.

Kaduna Banditry: NSCDC Deploys Agro Rangers To Protect Farmers

File photo of a tractor working on a farm.

 

As Federal and State governments encourage investments in agriculture, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Kaduna State command has deployed Agro Rangers to farms and ranches in order to protect farmers and their investments from being attacked by criminals especially kidnappers.

The state Commandant of the Corps, Babangida Dutsinma who inspected some Agro-allied industries and farms located in Kaduna State where his men were deployed, noted that the command at the moment provides security to no fewer than 12 agricultural beats made-up of government and private ownership.

The Commandant, therefore, assured stakeholders in the agro-allied business including the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) and the Farmers’ Association of Nigeria of a conducive environment in terms of security, in order for agric business to thrive in the state.

The Agro Rangers unit was launched in 2016 following the Federal Government’s desire to provide security in all agro-allied ventures which included grazing areas, silos, farmlands and ranches.

Over 300 Bandits Killed In North West Within Three Weeks, Says CAS

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, speaks to the Special Forces during an operational visit to Katsina State on June 4, 2020.

 

Over 300 bandits have so far been confirmed killed in the ongoing war against banditry in the North-Western part of the country.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar stated this on Thursday at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Airport, Katsina during an operational visit to the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji.

According to Abubakar, the visit was to assess the level of support in terms of Air and Special Forces operations given by the Nigerian Air Force to the Defence Headquarters Operation to secure the entire North West and North Central zones of the country.

While asking the troops not to spare any bandit so that farmers can go back to their farms, he appealed to the bandits to surrender their arms and face Justice.

READ ALSO: Buhari Mourns Former Ondo State Governor, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua

He also called for more support from the host communities, especially the human intelligence which according to him is critical in this kind of war.

“And to the troops, I urged them to work much harder to justify the enormous resources that the government is spending on their training and their allowances and equipment.

“The whole idea is to have a clear picture of the level of support that the Air operation effort is given to the Defence headquarters directive to secure the North West and the North Central,” he said.

The Chief of the Air Staff also reiterated his readiness to establish an Air Range at Dungurun forest bordering Zamfara and katsina states to keep the area busy so that bandits will not have a hiding place.

He noted that he is impressed that the Special Forces are currently collaborating with the Army to ensure that communities are secured.

See photos below: