Ban On Open-Grazing Is Counterproductive – Baba-Ahmed

 

The spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has said that the ban on open grazing by some state governments is counterproductive and damaging to the nation’s spirit of coexistence.

Baba-Ahmed made the comment during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

“We are not against open grazing. We are in support of ranching, domesticating cattle, modern ways on how both the cattle and the Fulani man can rest from this worrisome way of which it can be done.

“What we are insisting on is that this haste to sign laws that ban open grazing is both counterproductive [and] very damaging to the spirit of coexistence”.

“When you hear governors say you’re on your own, find a way to protect yourselves, you are then talking about anarchy.

“The more the states fail to provide security to communities, the more communities become desperate”, he stated.

He noted “if there are routes and grazing reserves, they don’t necessarily contradict the law against open grazing. Open grazing exists because there are no routes and reserves”.

The Fulani, he added, roams around wherever he goes because he doesn’t have access to what legitimately belongs to him from what the government has provided.

READ ALSO: We’ve Gone Beyond Looking For Grazing Routes – Falana

According to him, the issue should be treated with importance.

“It’s not a southern issue, it’s not a northern issue, it’s a national issue,” the NEF spokesman stated.

He faulted President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governors on the handling of the matter.

His comments come days after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch,” 368 grazing sites, across 25 states in the country, “to determine the levels of encroachment”.

Among other things, the committee recommended the production of maps and geo-mapping/tagging of sites, analysis of findings and report preparations as well as design appropriate communication on Grazing Reserves and operations.

Clashes between herders and farmers have lasted for ages in Nigeria. The herders – mostly from the northern regions of the country – move to the southern part in search of pasture for their livestock. 

Locals often accuse them of several crimes including killing, kidnapping, and rape. But the herdsmen deny any wrongdoing, saying they are being targeted. 

Attempts by the government to resolve the issue have, however, been largely resisted as many accuse the Federal Government of having sinister motives. 

12 Killed, Six Injured As Bandits Attack Katsina Community

A file photo shows a man holding a rifle. AFP

 

Twelve persons have been killed, with six injured following an attack by bandits on the Duba community in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Channels Television gathered that the hoodlums, numbering over 300 and armed with General Purpose Machine Guns and RPGs, attacked the community on Saturday night.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Gambo Isah confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Sunday via a telephone call.

He said the bandits had upon their arrival at the community started shooting sporadically into the air, after which they looted many shops and rustled some domestic animals belonging to the residents.

READ ALSO: NSCDC Arrests Motorcyclist Over Attempted Kidnap Of Students In Katsina

He revealed that a joint military, police, and air force operation is ongoing on how to deal with the situation, adding that investigation is in top gear with a view to arresting the perpetrators.

A resident of the area, Malam Aminu Batsari who was attending the burial of those killed during the incident also confirmed the attack.

He also explained that those wounded have already been taken to the hospital for treatment.

Batsari is close to the dreaded Rugu Forest, one of the ten frontline LGAs in Katsina where armed bandits have been carrying out their nefarious activities.

Banditry is common in Katsina and other states in the North-West region despite efforts by security agencies and reassurances from the government.

Banditry: Kebbi Govt Fabricates Armoured Vehicles For Military

An image released by the Kebbi state government on August 21, 2021 showing armoured vehicles locally fabricated to help fight insecurity in the state.
An image released by the Kebbi state government on August 21, 2021 showing armoured vehicles locally fabricated to help fight insecurity in the state.

 

The Kebbi state government on Saturday said it has locally fabricated armoured personnel carriers for the military as parts of efforts to fight banditry in the state.

According to a statement signed by government spokesperson, Yahaya Sarki, the carriers would help provide appropriate transport to security services for combat operations.

The vehicles, painted in Army color, were produced locally by the Deputy Governor of the State, retired Colonel Samaila Yombe Dabai who is a retired military officer, the statement added.

READ ALSO: Former Oyo Military Administrator, Tunji Olurin, Is Dead

“Colonel Yombe told newsmen this Friday, that the vehicles have been reinforced with hardened steel and suitable for battle with provisions for a driver, a gunner and space for extra troops,” the statement said.

An image released by the Kebbi state government on August 21, 2021 showing armoured vehicles locally fabricated to help fight insecurity in the state.
An image released by the Kebbi state government on August 21, 2021 showing armoured vehicles locally fabricated to help fight insecurity in the state.

 

“He explained that the action was approved and supported by Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu towards providing transportation to combatants as a major requirement in warfare in securing the lives and property of the citizenry.

“The Deputy Governor described Kebbi State as the pace setter in the country in such innovative technology, which served as both cost effective measure and advancing Nigeria’s quest for technical know-how.

“Toyota Land Cruiser Buffalo vehicles were remodelled into armoured personnel carriers with gun turrets through the engineering ingenuity of colonel Yombe.”

Police Arrest 14 Suspected Criminals In Katsina

 

The Police have arrested 13 suspected criminals linked to theft, banditry and kidnapping in Katsina State.

Among those arrested was a 40-year-old man, suspected to be a bandits’ informant in Faskari Local Government Area of the state.

The suspect identified as Abdullahi Sani of Ruwan Godiya Village in Faskari LGA was arrested on August 12, at about 4:00 pm as part of the recent achievements recorded by the Command in the fight against crime in the state.

In a press briefing held at the command headquarters on Friday, the Police Spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, explained that prior to his arrest, the suspect was overheard discussing with a notorious bandit leader (Alhaji Ado Buji) over the phone, and was strongly suspected by the community to be an informant to the bandits.

Isah said that during the investigations, the suspect confessed to the crime and revealed that some time ago he was given the sum of N800,000 to buy essential needs for the said bandit leader and his camp.

According to Isah, the suspect also stated that one Mallam Mustapha Isah, from Ruwan Godiya village, Faskari LGA was the one who introduced him to the said bandits’ leader.

“He was later traced and arrested,” the police spokesperson said.

The suspect also confessed to running errands for the bandits and collecting the sum of N200,000 from the said Alh Ado Buji.

The command has also succeeded in arresting 13 other suspects including a fake officer of the Nigeria Correctional Services, errand boys of a notorious leader of a bandits’ group among others.

Nine Killed As Bandits Attack Sokoto Villages

Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River
Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River

 

Bandits have killed nine persons in an attack on Bejingo, Dantudu, and Tulutu villages in Birjin ward, Goronyo Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

An anonymous source in the local government told Channels Television that the assailants attacked the villages on Saturday, raiding houses.

Eight men and one woman were among those killed by the assailants. Several others were also injured during the incident.

The bandits also rustled an unspecified number of animals including sheep, goats, and cattle, forcing a number of villagers to flee their homes and take refuge with relations in neighbouring communities.

RELATED: Presidency Condemns ‘Brazen’ Attack On Travellers In Plateau

Police authorities in the state are yet to confirm the attack as the Police Public Relations Officer Muhammad Sadiq said he is yet to be briefed on the incident.

The victims have since been buried according to Islamic rites.

Sokoto, a state in Nigeria’s north-western region, has had its fair share of banditry and kidnapping for ransom.

Late last month, bandits killed two people and abducted over 60 travellers along the Sokoto-Gusau highway.

The bandits were wielding sophisticated weapons and blocked the road before kidnapping the passengers.

However, a bus driver and one passenger escaped unhurt.

In May, gunmen also killed 12 people in Illella Amarawa, Illela Local Government Area of the state.

I’d Have Resigned If Govt Had Paid Ransom – Niger Commissioner

Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.
Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.

 

A Niger state commissioner who regained freedom from bandits on Thursday has said he would have resigned if the government had paid ransom to secure his release.

Muhammad Idris, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, revealed this while speaking to journalists at his Minna residence.

He spent about five days with his abductors before he was released.

While narrating his ordeal in the hands of the bandits, he said that he had committed everything to God and resolved that a ransom will not be paid.

He appreciated the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello for maintaining the policy of non-ransom payment to bandits.

According to him, his release was as the result of prayers, adding that he remained resolute and could not be broken down by the bandits and eventually, after a lengthy discussion with the bandits, he was set free.

He said that he was happy to be reunited with his family and that he was happy to be a cabinet member of the state especially with the love he has received

The commissioner was seen with his daughter who he said witnessed the incident and the brutality on him before he was whisked away.

The commissioner’s son, Faisal Idris, said the family was happy that their father has been reunited with them and credited God for the release.

Army To Take Battle To Bandits’ Enclaves – COAS

File Photo of the Nigerian Army logo

 

The Nigerian Army has assured citizens of its total commitment to tackling banditry, saying its operations in the country have been reinvigorated and strengthened.

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, who is on a two-day operational tour of all military formations and units under the eighth division of the Nigerian Army, said this on Friday at the 171 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Daura, Katsina.

He said the tour is expected to ensure that the troops take the battle to the enclaves of the bandits with a view to destroying them.

Read Also: Enugu, Kaduna, 11 Other Commands Get New Police Commissioners

Lieutenant General Yahaya explained that the essence of the tour is also to access the readiness and operations of the troops on ground and appreciate their conduct and challenges to encourage them to do more.

According to him, the military has so far started gaining ground with the synergy and support of other security agencies.

It Is Time To End Banditry, Terrorism – PDP Governors

A file photo of a man holding a gun.

 

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have called on the Federal Government to end the activities of bandits, terrorists, and kidnappers terrorising residents in parts of the country.

They made the call on Monday at the meeting of the PDP Governors’ Forum held in Bauchi State, where they deliberated on the state of the nation and reviewed the state of the nation’s democracy, economy, and security.

“It is time to bring the activities of bandits, kidnappers, and terrorists to an end, through increased use of military equipment. Traditional means of conflict resolution and technology for surveillance and the development of the political will to flush them out.

“Kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism are not business ventures as claimed by APC but heinous state crimes, that is destroying the Nigerian economy, the educational and social future of our children and causing significant social upheavals in society,” said Sokoto State Governor and Chairman of the Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, who read the communique issued at the end of the meeting.

On the economy, the governors admonished the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government to collaborate more with state governments to stem the unemployment scourge affecting the youths.

They recommended that this could be achieved through technology and increased production in all fields of endeavour.

The governors, however, asked the government to stop paying lip service on the Ease of Doing Business, saying foreign direct investments have continued to fall partly due to obstacles placed on foreign companies willing to invest in Nigeria.

“A glaring example is that of Facebook who insisted on investing in Nigeria rather than Ghana, and is being frustrated by regulatory authorities,” Governor Tambuwal said.

The governors urged Nigerians to take advantage of the ongoing registration of voters by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to arm themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to “rescue Nigeria from the APC maladministration”.

They also asked the youths and women to use the opportunity of the PDP e-registration exercise to register as members of the party, while existing members should update their membership electronically.

Banditry: Kaduna Govt Suspends Schools Resumption Indefinitely

A file photo pf a school in Kaduna State.

 

The Kaduna State government has suspended the resumption of schools across local governments of the state until further notice.

Addressing a stakeholders’ meeting on Monday, Governor Nasir El-Rufai explained that the government took the decision due to the ongoing aggressive military operation against bandits in most parts of the state.

He informed the meeting attended by members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), as well as professional and community-based associations that the operation was aimed at flushing the bandits out from their hideouts.

Governor El-Rufai added that the government was committed to protecting vulnerable children from being attacked by fleeing bandits who were already feeling the superior firepower of the military.

He revealed that the military has deployed more troops to the state for the operation and warned the residents to be vigilant and mindful of unknown faces in their midst, saying fleeing bandits might infiltrate their communities.

READ ALSO: 10 Media Organisations Accredited, Others Barred From Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial

In his remarks, NMA Chairman in Kaduna, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, asked the Federal Government to licence the use of firearms for profiled citizens.

He stated that this was necessary to enable the people to protect themselves from being attacked by bandits since the security forces cannot be everywhere.

Sokomba believes licensing of firearms for citizens has become expedient due to the constant kidnapping of many people, including health workers.

A gender-based activist, Asma Mirza, who was also present at the meeting, stressed the need to deploy technology to the various flashpoints, including the forests and highways.

Kidnapping and banditry have become fast-growing organised crimes in Kaduna and some parts of the north-west region – posing a major security threat for the people.

Hardly will a week pass by without sad stories of abduction of innocent citizens, including children, young, and old people by the marauding bandits.

Amid tension in which farmers have been forced to abandon their farms, some secondary schools and a tertiary institution were attacked by bandits recently in Kaduna.

But some of the schools have employed local vigilantes armed with local weapons – an action that has often proved ineffective against the heavily armed bandits.

Banditry: It Is ‘Ridiculous’ People Are Not Defending Themselves – Masari

FILE: Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari addresses journalists at the State House in Abuja on April 29, 2021.

 

Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari has said it is ridiculous that citizens are not defending themselves against bandit attacks.

He made the comment on Friday while speaking at the Katsina police headquarters, where he inaugurated the Katsina Joint Security Operations and Communication Control Centre meant to assist security agencies operating in the state.

According to the Governor, Katsina residents cannot simply rely on security agencies to solve the problem of insecurity.

“Security is our responsibility,” the Governor said. “Why are we surrendering our responsibility to some people? I cannot see how more committed a police officer or military officer can be more than anyone of you.

“Why should I sit in my village and be only making telephone calls without doing nothing?

“Every bandit, every criminal has an address, has a location, and they are human beings like us. The only difference is that they have taken arms against us; does it mean we have nothing to take against them?

“Do we mean we should vacate all our villages, all our farms, all our houses, and surrender them to bandits, and wait for police officer Emeka all the way from Enugu to come to Katsina and rescue me? This is ridiculous. Why?

“I think part of what this Katsina initiative needs to do is to go round all these local governments, let us talk to the people, defend yourselves.”

Troops Overpower Bandits In Zamfara – Army Spokesperson

A file photo of Nigerian troops.
A file photo of Nigerian troops at a parade.

 

The Nigerian army on Saturday said troops of 8 Division have neutralised bandits operating around Mayanchi-Dogo Karfe and Fagantama villages in Talata Marafa local government area of Zamfara State.

According to a statement signed by army spokesman, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, the troops came under fire from the bandits but were able to overwhelm the gunmen and recovered one PKT rifle, a large cache of ammunition, and a motorcycle.

Elsewhere in the state, troops were also said to have overpowered five more bandits in Bingi village, Bungudu local government area.

Reacting to the feat, Major-General Farouk Yahaya encouraged the troops to sustain the aggressive posture in order to defeat all criminal elements operating in the North-West and other parts of the country.

He also appealed to communities in the North-West to support the soldiers with useful information to help them in their operations.

DSS Invites Sheikh Gumi For Questioning

Sheikh Ahmad Gumi made an appearance on Channels TV's Politics Today on February 22, 2021.
Sheikh Ahmad Gumi made an appearance on Channels TV’s Politics Today on February 22, 2021.

 

The Department of State Services on Friday said it has invited Kaduna-based cleric Sheikh Ahmad Gumi for questioning.

“Sheikh Gumi was invited by the Service,” the service’s spokesmperson, Peter Afunaya, said in a response to a Channels Television enquiry.

The spokesman added that “it is not out of place for it to invite any person of interest.”

However, the cleric, speaking to Channels Television after Friday mosque duties, said he is not aware of any invitation.

“Nobody invited me for questioning or any arrest,” he said.

Although the DSS did not confirm the rationale for the invitation, Sheikh Gumi has recently been outspoken on the issue of banditry in Nigeria.

According to the cleric, amnesty should be extended to bandits, who he says have been ‘forced’ into criminality due to, in part, government neglect.

In a recent interview, Gumi alleged that some military operatives actively connive with bandits to wreak havoc on the country.

‘Peaceful people’

Nigeria is currently dealing with a banditry scourge, especially in the North-West region.

Students are frequently kidnapped in schools and attacks on road travelers and communities are ubiquitous.

On Thursday, at least one person was killed and 33 others abducted in a community in Kaduna state.

However, Gumi, who has visited some bandit groups in the forests where they reside, has advocated for the bandits to be treated with compassion.

“When I listened to them, I found out that it is a simple case of criminality which turned into banditry, which turned into ethnic war, and some genocide too behind the scene; people don’t know,” Sheikh Gumi said in an interview with Channels Television last February.

The cleric said that while “there is no excuse for any crime; nothing can justify crime, and they are committing crime,” the bandits were forced into criminality.

“I think it is a population that is pushed by circumstances into criminality,” he said. “And this is what we should look, let’s remove the pressure, let’s remove the things that made them into criminals because we have lived thousands of years without any problems with the nomadic herdsmen. They are peaceful people. But something happened that led them to this.”