Seven Notorious Bandits Repent, Surrender Weapons In Zamfara

 

Seven notorious bandits on Friday repented and surrendered their weapons to the Zamfara State Government.

The repentant bandits also took an oath to stop banditry and embrace the peace accord instituted by State Governor Bello Matawalle to end the decade-old banditry in the state.

They were received at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital, in the presence of some traditional rulers and Islamic clerics who took turns to counsel them as their weapons were handed over to the State Police Command.

They surrendered 14 weapons including AK 47 rifles.

The bandits who swore by the Holy Qur’an indicated their willingness to stop banditry and embrace peace for the rest of their lives.

Arms and ammunition surrendered by the repentant bandits.

 

The State Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran who presented the bandits to Governor Matawalle said they willingly took the decision to accept the peace offered by the Governor and will accept to be re-integrated into the society.

The governor accepted their resolve as they took the oath with the Holy Quran not to either go back to their past ways or become informants for their former colleagues who are yet to key into the peace process.

Governor Matawalle also promised to continue with the peace process in the state employing the carrot and stick approach towards a successful end to the menace in the state.

Zamfara State Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Dauran while briefing journalists said over 1,000 kidnapped victims have been rescued and over 148 weapons with 1,418 live ammunitions surrendered by bandits since the inception of peace dialogue with bandits.

As part of efforts to fight banditry, Governor Matawalle’s administration has made it a policy to extend an olive branch to bandits who are willing to give up a life of crime.

The policy has been noted to have significantly reduced the frequency of banditry and bloody attacks in the state.

Other state governments in the northern region troubled by bandit activities have employed a similar approach with varying success.

We Are Winning War Against Insurgency, Banditry – Military

 

The military on Thursday said it is winning the war against insurgency and banditry as it sustains an onslaught against criminals within the country.

Spokesman Major-General John Enenche said this during a press conference in Abuja.

Enenche referenced recent operations against bandits in Zamfara and Katsina as evidence of the military’s efforts against insecurity.

READ ALSO: Boko Haram No Longer Has Authority Over Any Territory – Enenche

In a Monday statement, Enenche had announced that troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have killed at least 35 bandits in Zamfara in two successive operations.

The operations were carried out on Sunday, the spokesman said.

According to the statement, the troops were also able to recover 24 cows and an unspecified number of sheep from the bandits.

He also noted that two suspected bandits have been arrested in Katsina state.

During his Thursday press briefing, Enenche renewed his appeal for members of the public to continually provide the military with actionable information that will assist in decimating all criminal elements in the country.

Police Foil Bandits Attack, Rescue Kidnap Victim In Zamfara

 

The Police in Zamfara State have foiled an attack by bandits in a community in the outskirts of Shinkafi Local Government Area.

According to a statement by the PPRO, for the Commissioner of Police, Zamfara State Police Command, SP Mohammed Shehu, the incident occurred at about 04:30 am on Saturday.

SP Shehu said the Command received a distress call that armed bandits in their large number came to the outskirts of Shinkafi with intent to kidnap innocent members of the community.

But a combined team of PMF/CTU attached to the “Operation Puff Adder” responded quickly and foiled the attack.

Similarly, one Samaila Langa, a 30-year-Old, who was kidnapped by the bandits during the incident was successfully rescued by the combined effort of the police and leaders of the repentant bandits.

The victim has been reunited with his family after being debriefed.

According to the police, normalcy has been restored in the area and its environs.

Troops Kill Several Bandits In Kaduna LGA

Troops of the Special Forces deployed by the Defence Headquarters arrive Southern Kaduna on August 14, 2020.

 

Troops of the Nigerian military have killed several bandits in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said that feedback from military authorities reported that the air platform of Operation Thunder Storm after flying over several locations in Giwa and Igabi local government areas, sighted armed bandits with several herds of cattle at the northwest of Kuduru Forest in Birnin Gwari local government area.

The air platform, according to him, engaged the bandits and subsequently killed several of them, with some of the cattle also affected.

He explained that some rustled cattle were affected following an air offensive by the air component of Operation Thunder Strike, a Defence Headquarters response to banditry in some locations in the state.

The Commissioner further disclosed that the air platform is still conducting aggressive fighting patrols to criminal hideouts in the general area as well as the Kaduna-Abuja Road.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has commended the hard work of the military and other security agencies in the fight against banditry.

I’m Worried Banditry Will Lead To Low Food Productivity, Says Governor Bello

File photo of Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello

 

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, says he is worried that the activities of bandits in the north-central region will affect food production.

Bello, who also chairs the North-Central Governors’ Forum, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

The governor called on the Federal Government to adequately tackle the security challenges in the country.

“My main concern about this issue is about food security. When they kidnap for ransom, yes you will say they do that for money,” he said.

“But why burn farms? Why kill animals? I really want the Federal Government to really look at it from the several factors that contribute to this.”

READ ALSO: 2023 Presidency: I Am Focused On Kogi Development, Says Yahaya Bello

Speaking further, Governor Bello revealed plans by his administration to track bandits who attack communities, kill people and destroy farmlands and animals.

To the Niger leader, it is easier tracking the miscreants who appear in large numbers using the Intelligence, surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR).

“To get the right intelligence from the various communities that are far away from the cities, you must have some form of technology.

“In the meantime is that we try to track the movements of these bandits. For those ones that move on 20, 30, 40, 50 motorcycles, it is easy to pick using an ISR.

“For those ones that move in smaller units, I have to deploy, for example, things like drones and all that. We have to have intelligence,” he added.

The governor also asked his colleagues in the north-central region to work to increase the Internally Generated Revenues in their respective states.

Banditry: Zamfara Govt Orders Closure Of 10 Schools

A file photo of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle.

 

The Zamfara State government has ordered the immediate closure of some Boarding and Day Schools in the state.

Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, who is the Commissioner for Education, made the announcement while briefing reporters in Gusau, the state capital.

He explained that the affected schools were those that share borders with Katsina, Kaduna, and Sokoto States.

READ ALSO: Senators Lament Over Increased Insecurity, Call For Removal Of Service Chiefs

The commissioner noted that the three states were prone to banditry, saying that the decision was important to forestall any form of attack on the schools.

He added that the action was necessary considering the security situation in the country and to prevent what happened at the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State.

Abdullahi assured parents and guardians that the safety of the students was paramount to the state government.

He revealed that the government has concluded plans to deploy security operatives to the remaining schools that were not closed.

The affected educational facilities comprise seven boarding schools and day schools.

Boarding schools listed include G.S.S. in Tsafe, G.S.S. in Magaji, G.A.S.S. in Zurmi, G.G.S.S. in Moriki, Science Secondary School in Shinkafi, Science Secondary School in Dansadau, and Science Secondary School in Bukkuyum.

The affected day schools are G.D.S.S. in Nasarawa Mailayi, G.D.S.S in Gusami, and G.D.S.S. in Gurbin Bore.

Insecurity: Professor Recommends Mass Recruitment Of Local Hunters

Men display guns at an Amotekun passing-out ceremony in Oyo State on November 18, 2020.
PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE THE STORY: Hunters display guns at an Amotekun passing-out ceremony in Oyo State on November 18, 2020.

 

The Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Professor Idris Bugaje has called for the massive recruitment of local hunters from every Local Government Area of the 19 Northern states in order curb the menace of Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast and bandits attacks in the northwest and other parts of the region.

Part of his recommendations is that the hunters must be given a short training on communications and intelligence gathering during operations and thereafter be provided with weapons and other logistics that will enhance their operations.

In a statement titled; “Formula-100: Solution to the Growing Banditry and Insurgency in the North”, the Professor of Engineering, said recruiting at least 100 hunters in each local government of the north is the model every state in the region must adapt if they must tackle the security challenges in the north.

READ ALSO: Soldier Dead, Two Others Injured As Troops Kill Scores Of Terrorists In Borno

“These hunters must be screened at their ward levels to ensure they are of good character with guarantors in the community including Heads of Families, Imams, ward, and village heads. For long these traditional institutions had been neglected and in some places, the bandits have incorporated them into their networks,” Professor Bugaje said.

The security network according to the academician should have a Commander in each local government, who will be given the mandate to clear the bandits in their Local Government Areas.

“Where there is a need for coordinated action across the neighboring LGAs, the Commanders can sit and organize a joint action. This may be necessary in forests such as Dajin Rugu in Katsina State which covers about six Local Government Areas and part of Zamfara State. I am confident this task will be achieved in a matter of weeks or at worse two months,” he added.

Professor Bugaje also suggests that members of the Civilian Joint Task Force should be absorbed into the Army or Police at the end of the exercise, or better a new Security Outfit should be created for each state to assist in fighting crime in a sustainable way.

Professor Bugaje expressed fear that the region is on a dangerous path of self-destruction if the trend of bandit attacks and insurgency continues unabated.

He also described as very embarrassing bandits attack on a boarding secondary school in Kankara, Katsina State, where over 300 school pupils went missing in a week when the President was on a private visit to his State.

Buhari Condemns Katsina School Attack

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday condemned the bandits’ attack on a secondary school in Katsina.

About 54 students are said to have been abducted after gunmen attacked the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara in Katsina State late Friday.

The attack was carried out as Buhari commenced a one-week private visit to his hometown in Daura, Katsina State.

“I strongly condemn the cowardly bandits’ attack on innocent children at the Science School, Kankara,” the President said, as quoted in a statement released by spokesman Garba Shehu.

“Our prayers are with the families of the students, the school authorities and the injured.”

According to Shehu’s statement, the military has located the bandits’ location and are in the process of retrieving the abducted students.

“In the latest briefing received by the President from Governor Aminu Bello Masari, with whom he has been in touch, and the Army Chief of Staff, General Tukur Buratai, the military, supported by air power has located the bandits’ enclave at Zango/Paula forest in Kankara and there have been exchange of fire in an ongoing operation,” the statement said.

“Police said so far, there has not been reported any student casualty.

“The President has directed the reinforcement of security of all schools in line with the safe schools policy of the administration.”

Meanwhile, the Katsina state government has shut down all boarding schools in the state.

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.